Unilever is to buy an 82% stake in £500m Russian beauty business Concern Kalina.

The company is the biggest player in Russia’s personal care market and sells a range of brands - including Pure Line, Black Pearl, Silky Hands, 100 Recipes of Beauty and Forest Balm - primarily in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. It is based in Ekaterinburg, where its manufacturing facility is located, and employs about 1,900 people.

Unilever said the deal - which is expected to complete by the end of the year pending regulatory approval - will boost its presence in a high-growth market and give it the opportunity to use Unilever technology to enhance Kalina’s brands.

“This will transform Unilever’s personal care business in Russia, giving us leading positions in skin care and hair care, as well as establishing a presence in oral care,” said Unilever CEO Paul Polman. “It will also strengthen and re-balance Unilever’s portfolio and competitive position in Russia, an emerging market with considerable potential and one of our priority countries.”

On completion of the deal, Unilever plans to launch a mandatory tender offer to acquire the remaining shares in the business.