Clifford Chance and Ropes & Gray act as Unilever buys Korean cosmetics maker for $2.7bn

Clifford Chance (CC) and Ropes & Gray have won the lead roles on Unilever’s $2.7bn (£2bn) acquisition of Seoul-based cosmetics maker Carver Korea.

Unilever has agreed to buy the Korean maker of facial masks and skincare products from Bain Capital Private Equity and Goldman Sachs Group. The two US investors bought into Carver Korea in August 2016, by taking a 60% stake for $366m (£273m).

CC Singapore M&A partner Valerie Kong is leading a team advising Unilever. Korean firm Bae, Kim & Lee is serving as local counsel to the consumer goods giant.

Ropes & Gray is advising regular client Bain Capital with a private equity team led by Seoul partner Jaewoo Lee and Boston partner William Mone. The Boston-based firm also represented Bain when it bought a stake in Carver Korea last year.

Korea’s largest law firm, Kim & Chang, is acting for both Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs on local law, with two separate teams.

Founded in 1999, Carver Korea makes the A.H.C. brand skincare products and exports to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, where Korean beauty products are highly popular.

Earlier this year, CC made several changes to its Asia offering, including announcing plans to close its 21-year-old Bangkok office later this year and end an Indonesian association that was just over three years old. The magic circle firm said the changes were part of an effort to consolidate its Southeast Asia practice in Singapore, where former office head Geraint Hughes is now Asia-Pacific managing partner, based in Hong Kong.