L’Oréal: Prettying Up Colombia

Courtesy of The Financial Times, an article on L’Oréal’s entree into Colombia and its plan to use that nation as launch pad into other parts of South America:

 Colombia’s female beauty is renowned for being naturally stunning. Sometimes there are some enhancements to what nature originally provided, though, helped by the scalpel of a plastic surgeon or by the brush of a cosmetologist.

For those that prefer make-up, there’s good news: France’s cosmetics giant, L’Oréal, has expanded its presence in the Andean country after the acquisition of Vogue, a local cosmetics brand.

“Vogue is an important acquisition for L’Oréal Colombia as it strengthens its position in the very competitive make-up category,”said Alexandre Popoff, L’Oréal’s executive vice-president for Latin America.

In recent years, the Andean country has been at the receiving end of hordes of foreign investment – mostly destined to natural resources, not much to cosmetic products. Yet, with a rising middle class boosted by rampant consumer spending on the back of consumer credit, it seems like a very attractive choice.

In addition, Colombia could also work as a launching pad to augment L’Oréal’s presence in Latin America. “The brand represents development opportunities outside of Colombia, particularly in Central America, in Ecuador and in Peru,” said Popoff.

Vogue is already the leader in Colombia’s mass-market cosmetics. Sales grew 29 per cent last year and the company employs 1,100 people. It also exports to several countries in the region, including Panama, Ecuador and, most recently, Costa Rica. Other recent acquisitions in the region by L’Óreal include Miss Ylang in Argentina in 2000 and Colorama in Brazil in 2001.

L’Oréal told beyondbrics they were not disclosing the acquisition price, but said Vogue achieved a consolidated turnover of approximately 30m euro ($39m) in 2011. Earlier this year, Vogue’s chief executive and founder, María Cortés de Chaves hinted she was willing to step aside. “If I sell, it will be to firm very similar to us,” she said.

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 at 5:09 am and is filed under Colombia.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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