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L’Oreal to buy 70 percent stake in Korean fashion, makeup firm Nanda

Korean fashion and cosmetics company Nanda, which runs the popular clothing brand Style Nanda, has selected L’Oreal as the preferred bidder to buy a 70 percent stake in the company, reports said Tuesday.

The deal with the French cosmetics giant is estimated to be worth 400 billion won ($375 million).

Nanda’s founder Kim So-hee, 35, who holds a 100 percent stake in the firm, will have a 30 percent stake in the company after the sale, according to reports that cited Swiss global investment bank UBS.

A screenshot of Style Nanda’s online website (Nanda)
A screenshot of Style Nanda’s online website (Nanda)

Nanda was founded here in 2005 as an online retailer. It has since expanded to physical stores in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Its clothing line Style Nanda and cosmetics line 3CE are reportedly popular among Chinese consumers. The latter has close to 60 stores in seven countries including Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia through the global cosmetics chain Sephora. The cosmetics side takes up over half of Nanda’s total sales.

L’Oreal aims to strengthen its presence in the Asian cosmetics market through the proposed purchase, according to reports.

Nanda reportedly decided to sell a stake in the company at the end of last year, as part of efforts to further expand to foreign markets.

People were skeptical when Kim first founded Nanda 13 years ago, as shopping for clothing on the internet was still a novel idea at the time, she said in an interview with local media. From the beginning, Nanda has sought to establish itself as a provocative and rebellious brand for women.

By Rumy Doo (