SGS Is to Reinforce Its Cosmetics Testing Reach With IEC Acquisition 

PARIS – SGS, the Swiss testing, inspection and certification company, has agreed to acquire France’s Institut d’Expertise Clinique, or IEC, to reinforce its worldwide leadership in cosmetics.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

IEC is a leading cosmetics clinical research organization that operates in the field of advanced clinical testing solutions. 

Safety is paramount for the cosmetics industry across the board, for its suppliers, brands and consumers.

In the European Union, legislation requires that each cosmetic product placed on the market in Europe is safe to use. So manufacturers must ensure the products undergo an expert scientific safety assessment prior to the products’ launch.

“IEC conducts multicentric safety and efficacy studies, in-vitro tests, sensory analyses and consumer tests on dermatological and ophthalmological cosmetic, personal care and hygiene products,” SGS said in a statement released Wednesday.

Lyon, France-based IEC was founded in 1990. It operates in Europe, Asia and Africa, and has an international client base. The company counts 150 full-time employees.

Etienne Camel, president of IEC, said that joining SGS, the cosmetics industry’s leader, “will help us serve our clients even better by leveraging the many synergies that such a global player offers, whether in terms of innovation, marketing, best practices or international expansion.”

Géraldine Picaud, chief executive officer of SGS, said: “This acquisition aligns with our strategic goals and further reinforces our global leadership in cosmetics and hygiene testing. IEC brings to SGS innovative capabilities and strong scientific expertise, as well as complementary geographic footprint and service offering.”

In Europe, the major testing, inspecting and certification, or TIC, companies also include Bureau Veritas, Intertek, Tüv Süd and Eurofins Scientific.

The European Union has a robust regulatory framework for many sectors, with rules established to guarantee security and quality.

“As companies look to ensure adherence to these regulations, this has increased demand for TIC services,” wrote Straits Research. It estimates the European TIC market size was valued at $88 billion in 2021 and projects that it will reach $129 billion by 2030.

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