In a bid to accelerate its growth in the cosmetic ingredient business, Symrise AG is taking a 25% stake in Kobo Products, a US-based supplier of pigments and powders. The two companies have also agreed on the future disposition of Kobo’s shares and governance. The financial details of the investments were not disclosed.

Headquartered in South Plainfield, New Jersey, Kobo has a very large colour palette of surface treated pigments and dispersions to supply the market demand for make-up products for a wide range of skin tones. It’s a market leader in mineral sunscreen technologies to create formulations with broad spectrum protection, microspheres for enhanced textures, and materials that are derived of natural origin. The company employs approximately 170 people worldwide and has subsidiaries in France, Brazil, and the UK, and a majority owned joint-venture in Japan, with application labs and production facilities in four countries. They are represented globally by independent agents in more than thirty countries.

Mineral filters and makeup

Symrise considers the investment a strategic step to expand its activities into inorganic UV filters and decorative cosmetics.

With this investment, we fast-track our strategic plan to expand into decorative cosmetics. It enables us to stay at the forefront of consumer trends by bridging colour and skin care cosmetics”, said Dr. Jörn Andreas, President of Cosmetic Ingredients Division at Symrise AG. “We will combine Kobo’s broad range of market-leading product lines in surface treated pigments, sun care and colour dispersions with our decades of experience in manufacturing and marketing high-quality cosmetic ingredients. Our customers will benefit from an unmatched range of UV filter products and a full spectrum of formulations and integrated solutions.

Both groups will cooperate in the distribution of UV filters and Kobo will get access to Symrise’s global sales infrastructure.

Joining forces with Symrise offers us an opportunity to further develop our colour and sun businesses. Symrise’s resources and expertise in organic UV filters combined with ours in inorganic UV filters will create an organization with the capacity to analyse and develop novel ingredients and formulations that provide broad spectrum protection, are safer for the environment, and that minimize in their impact on carbon emissions. Together, we will do the research necessary to create technical colour and sun care products that are responsive to the needs of customers, regulators, and other stakeholders around the world,” added Kobo’s President, David Schlossman.