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Published February 5, 2021
Published February 5, 2021

Shiseido is selling its personal care business, which includes its lower-priced haircare and skincare products, to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and is looking to exit non-core businesses by the end of this year.

WHO: The origin of the personal care business dates back to the launch of Shiseido Soap in 1921. In 1959, the business spun off and established Shiseido Trading Company, Limited, which has since evolved into the current FT Shiseido Company, Limited. Over 60 years it has built a portfolio of well-known brands distributed primarily in Japan, China, and other Asian countries.

Established in 1981, CVC is a private equity firm with 23 offices around the world and an extensive track record in the business growth and value creation for investee companies.

WHY: Shiseido is undergoing a transformation positioning premium skin beauty as its core business and aiming to become a global leader by 2030. In addition, they’re shifting priorities from top-line growth to profitability and cash-flow management, with a goal of achieving an operating margin of 15% in 2023 through a reduction of cost of goods and selling, general, and administrative expenses.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “The purpose of this transfer is to grow the personal care business, whose business structure is mass market and quite different from the cosmetics business with beauty consultant counseling, by spinning off and establishing a new joint venture independent of Shiseido,” said Masahiko Uotani, Shiseido President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.

“The personal care business model is very different from our focus as a beauty company,” Uotani said in a press briefing. Though Shiseido’s business has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the company did not make a hasty decision to sell off the segment, he added.

“We see significant potential for growth by investing further in employees, brands, and R&D, as well as by driving digitalization and accelerating overseas expansion, with the possibility of going public in the future,” said Yukinori Sugiyama, partner and co-head of CVC Japan, in a statement.


  • Shiseido is selling its personal care business to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners in a deal worth $1.5 billion.
  • Under the terms of this deal, CVC Asia V will acquire a 65% stake in a joint venture that owns the assets of the business. Shiseido will hold the remaining 35% stake.
  • Shiseido said in a statement the new company will see rapid development through a refinement of its management system, aided by CVC’s professionals to leverage its growth potential with aggressive investment backed by CVC’s resources as well as the possibility of going public in the future.
  • The operations divested include well-known drugstore brands, including Tsubaki haircare products, Senka face wash, uno, Ag Deo24, Super Mild, Sea Breeze, Macherie, Fino, Aquair, and Kuyura, which are sold at drugstores and GMS.
  • The personal care business represented about 10% of Shiseido’s revenue in 2019, with annual sales of about 100 billion yen.
  • Shiseido is looking to exit non-core businesses by the end of this year as part of a revamp and a new mid-term plan for 2023.

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