SGS strengthens its position in cosmetic testing with the acquisition of IEC

Switzerland-headquartered testing, inspection and certification company SGS announced on Wednesday July 10 the acquisition of French company IEC (Institut d’expertise clinique), a leading cosmetics clinical research organization. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed.

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Lyon, France, IEC employs close to 150 full-time employees and provides testing services to leading players in the cosmetics and personal care industry, as well as in the dermatology, hygiene and ophthalmology sectors. IES specializes in clinical safety and efficacy trials, in vitro testing, sensory analyses and consumer testing. The company also has operations in Bulgaria, South Africa and Asia.

According to Étienne Camel, president of IEC, this operation is “a very exciting development.” Joining the SGS will help IEC to leverage “the many synergies that such a global player offers, whether in terms of innovation, marketing, best practices or international expansion,” he added.

Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary pre-closing conditions, including consultation procedures with employees in France.

This acquisition aligns with our strategic goals and further reinforces our global leadership in cosmetics and hygiene testing,” said Géraldine Picaud, CEO of SGS, quoted in a press release.

Headquartered in Geneva, SGS inspects and assesses the safety of a large array of products, including toys, cosmetics and food products, as well as minerals or components for the automotive industry. The company’s turnover amounted to 6.6 billion Swiss francs (6.8 billion euros) in 2023.

Testing in cosmetics is an interesting niche for SGS with good growth potential,” commented Daniel Bürki, analyst at Zurich Cantonal Bank, in a stock market commentary.

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