SEOUL, Apr. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean online shopping mall Stylenanda is drawing attention in the e-commerce industry amid rumors French cosmetic giant L’Oreal is bidding to acquire the website.
According to investment bank sources on Tuesday, Nanda, which operates the online clothing shop Stylenanda and cosmetics brand 3 Concept Eyes (3CE), is reportedly planning to sell 70 percent of the stake owned by Kim So-hee, the head of Nanda, for about 400 billion won (US$375 million), with the help of Swiss banking giant UBS as lead manager.
L’Oreal is rumored to be among the preferred bidders with the French cosmetics brand eyeing 3CE, a cosmetics line available on Stylenanda’s website.
Stylenanda started off as an online fashion mall, but its makeup brand 3CE has been a major hit in the Chinese market.
With the brand boasting a strong lineup of makeup products, particularly lip products, L’Oreal is reportedly showing interest with the French company seeking to branch out of skincare and into makeup.
Kim first opened her shopping mall in 2005 with her mother and aunt, becoming part of the first online shopping mall generation in South Korea.
Featuring attire from Dongdaemun, a shopping district known for a wide selection of clothing shops, Kim soon branched out into other areas including cosmetics and interior design.
With the help of Korean pop culture and high demand for South Korean cosmetics products, 3CE in 2014 reached 115.1 billion won in sales.
In 2016, the figure rose to 128.7 billion won, with over 300 employees working for the fashion and makeup giant.
The company has three flagship stores in popular neighborhoods in Seoul including Hongdae and Myeongdong, with products also sold at numerous drugstores and department stores across the country.
The reputation of 3CE is well and alive abroad, with a total of 168 stores operating in Australia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore, to name a few.
Kim is expected to keep the rest of her stake, with plans to focus on her projects and design work after the acquisition deal goes through.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)