25 January 2013

BDA advises on divestment of Shanghai Elsker to J&J

divested Shanghai Elsker Mother & Baby Co. Ltd to


Business Development Asia LLC (“BDA”) is pleased to report that its client, Shanghai Elsker Mother & Baby Co., Ltd (“Elsker”), the Chinese domestic leader in the branded baby skincare market, has been acquired by Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”). BDA acted as exclusive financial advisor to Elsker’s shareholders, notably private equity funds Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity China Fund and Shenzhen Maison Capital, as well as Elsker’s founder, Mr Liu Xiaokun. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Elsker is headquartered in Shanghai. Since being founded in 2006 it has enjoyed rapid growth, effectively penetrating distribution channels from international and local supermarket chains such as Walmart and RT Mart, to specialist mother and baby stores such as Red Baby and Le You. Elsker’s success is based on strict product quality standards and a clear, natural brand position, that has inspired the trust of affluent young families throughout China.

Moling Chen, Managing Director at Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity China Fund, stated, “Under Liu Xiaokun’s leadership, Elsker has consistently executed its growth strategy with impressive results. We are very proud to have supported the founding team, at a time when believers were few. We see Johnson & Johnson as the best partner to bring in more resources to further develop the brand. Elsker will benefit from J&J’s expertise.”

Mark Webster, Managing Director at BDA, said, “Following the competitive global process that BDA ran on behalf of our clients, we are confident that we have helped secure an optimal outcome. Elsker is a first-class business, and is well-placed to hit even greater heights in future.”

Euan Rellie, Senior Managing Director at BDA, added, “We were pleased to facilitate a highly satisfactory exit for the shareholders, especially to a leading global strategic buyer. J&J recognises Elsker’s powerful brand proposition. BDA’s unique global platform helps local entrepreneurs and sophisticated financial sponsors to realise their goals in China. We wish J&J all the best as the new owners of this great brand.”

Chinese mothers give birth to 18 million babies per annum, and are expected to sustain this rate through to 2016 (U.N. estimates). Retail sales of baby care products (for 0-3 year olds) grew to RMB3.5bn (US$560m) in 2010, and are expected to continue growing at 17.5% per annum through 2013.

BDA advised Elsker on the transaction. Zhong Lun Law Firm acted as legal advisor to Elsker.

About Elsker
Shanghai Elsker Mother & Baby Co., Ltd is a leading Chinese brand and manufacturer of natural baby skincare products for the domestic market. Elsker was founded in Shanghai in 2006, recording its first sales in 2007. Its products are sold in product series such as Elsker Natural and Elsker For Mother, and are available in stores such as Carrefour, Walmart, RT Mart and Lianhua, plus specialist mother and baby stores throughout China. For Company information, see www.elsker.com.

About Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is an American multinational medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturer founded in 1886. Headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey with the consumer division being located in Skillman, New Jersey. The corporation has operations in over 50 countries with its products sold in over 175 countries and its consumer business has been involved in the China market for 25 years. Johnson & Johnson had worldwide pharmaceutical sales of US$65bn for the calendar year of 2011. Johnson & Johnson’s brands include numerous household names of medications and first aid supplies. Among its well-known consumer products are the Band-Aid brand line of bandages, Tylenol medications, Johnson’s baby products and Neutrogena skin and beauty products. Further information is available at www.jnj.com.

About Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity China Fund
Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity China Fund (the “Fund”) was founded in 2009, by the legendary Edmond de Rothschild Group. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Edmond de Rothschild Group has more than EUR100bn asset under management, with offices in over 30 countries worldwide. The Fund is focused on providing stable capital and value-add direction to fast growing Chinese SMEs by leveraging the Group’s global resources and network. Headquartered in Shanghai, the Fund can be contacted at jennifer.hu@lcfr.hk.

About Maison Capital
Maison Capital (“Maison”) was established in 2004, to provide capital to domestic Chinese companies at early- and growth-stage. It leverages a RMB1.5bn fund. Maison has completed 20 investments and achieved successful exits through domestic/overseas IPO or trade sales for nearly half these. Maison has expertise in the consumer, healthcare, and high tech manufacturing sectors. Maison provides returns for investors by adding value to portfolio companies.

About BDA
Business Development Asia LLC (“BDA”) is a leader in cross-border investment banking in Asia. BDA advises on M&A, capital raising, and restructuring. BDA has been consistently owned and managed by the same team since 1996. BDA has a track record of providing independent advice to blue-chip corporate and financial sponsor clients from North America, Europe and Asia. BDA was named Investment Banking Firm of the Year by The M&A Advisor in both 2012 and 2010. BDA is headquartered in New York with offices in London, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Bahrain, Seoul and Tokyo. BDA formed a partnership with William Blair & Company in 2011. Further information is available at www.bdapartners.com.

For more information regarding this transaction, please contact Euan Rellie in New York at (+1) 212-265-5300 or Mark Webster in Shanghai at (+86) 21 5407 5580.