US. The Estée Lauder Companies has purchased a minority stake in a privately held Indian company that manufactures, markets and sells beauty products, under the Forest Essentials brand, which are based on Ayurvedic formulations.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Forest Essentials, which was founded in 2000 by Mira Kulkarni, uses pure essential oils and natural plant extracts in its range of skin, body and hair care products. Its portfolio of more than 100 skus is sold in the company’s seven freestanding stores and in high-end hotels and spas across India.

“Forest Essentials gives us a stronger presence in the rapidly expanding prestige beauty business in India,” said William P. Lauder, Chief Executive Officer of The Estée Lauder Companies. “We have seen how more and more consumers around the world are interested in beauty products with a natural heritage.

“This agreement will help us expand our growing expertise and competitiveness in the natural products arena, while Forest Essentials will benefit from our long history of successful brand management and global expansion.”

Forest Essentials products are rooted in age-old treatments from ancient Ayurvedic scriptures, updated with innovative textures and scents. Best-selling products include the Rose Crystal Salt Body Polisher, the Hand Pounded Organic Fruit Scrub and the Soundarya Facial Age Defying Serum.

“We are delighted to gain The Estée Lauder Companies’ brand-building and marketing expertise, which will help take Forest Essentials to the next level,” said Mira Kulkarni, Chief Executive Officer of Forest Essentials.

“We look forward to expanding our unique brand, which harnesses an age-old holistic philosophy to create a new beauty ideal.”

The Estée Lauder Companies began selling its products in India in July 2005 with the opening of a freestanding MAC store in Mumbai, in the heart of Bollywood.

The group currently sells six brands in India: MAC, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Aramis, Clinique and most recently Estée Lauder.

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