French cosmetics corporation Groupe Rocher, is buying control of Israeli natural bath and body products brand, Sabon, at a company value of 500 million shekels ($129 million), the companies announced Monday.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed but Groupe Rocher is buying 67% of the maker and retailer of soap and other body products.
Sabon was founded in 1997 by Sigal Kotler-Levi and Avi Piatok, who turned a single store (originally called Sabon Shel Pa’am) in Shenkin street in Tel Aviv, into a global business. In 2003 they opened first store outside Israel in New York City’s West Villages. Today Sabon is operating in 14 countries.
The company counts 40 country-style décor shops in Israel alone, another 40 in Japan, 17 in the United States and 13 in France. Some of the shops are owned directly by the company, whose global operations have been headed by Ronen Zohar since 2008, and other by local franchisers. Global sales run about 100 million euros annually.
Under the terms of the deal, the founders will continue to manage Sabon, and Groupe Rocher has an option to buy out the rest of the business.
Groupe Rocher, whose eight beauty and lifestyle brands for women, include Yves Rocher cosmetics and Petit Bateau underwear, is a family group. Over 97% is owned by the founding Rocher family. The company sales totaled over €2 billion ($2.1 billion) in 2015 . It has a significant presence in 20 countries, mainly in the field of clothing and cosmetics and employs 16, 000 people.
Sabon said it will be able “to enjoy Rocher’s internal resources and the group’s strong relationships will all support the company and maximize its opportunities for global growth. The joint objectives that have been set with our new partners cover a wide range of areas, including expanding into new markets, continued growth and opening new stores in existing markets.”
Sabon’s stores, are a familiar site across Israel. The company counts 40 shops of them in Israel alone, another 40 in Japan, 17 in the United States and 13 in France. Some of the shops are owned directly by the company, whose global operations have been headed by Ronen Zohar since 2008, and other by local franchisers. Global sales run about 100 million euros annually.
Sabon said that this cooperation will enable the company to enjoy Groupe Rocher’s internal resources in various fields, as well as its strengths and external relations, all in support of the company’s global growth opportunities. The new partners defined joint objectives in various fields, including expansion to new markets, maintaining growth and opening new stores in existing markets – all based on beefing-up existing operations, innovation and more.
Groupe Rocher CEO Bris Rocher said, “Buying the controlling stake in Sabon matches our international growth aspirations. Our extensive knowledge in the company’s different fields of operation, together with strong cooperation with Sabon’s staff, will help both the company and Groupe Rochet to grow worldwide.”
Sabon owners Sigal Kotler-Levy and Avi Piatok said, “Groupe Rocher is an ideal strategic partner for our company, and we are sure that the group’s expertise in a wide range of topics will contribute to our professionalism as a company and help Sabon grow faster worldwide.”