Geiger and Blackstone Close to L’Occitane Acquisition

L’Occitane Worldwide SA, the famend skin-care firm, could also be about to make a significant transfer. Bloomberg studies that the corporate’s billionaire proprietor, Reinold Geiger, is in talks to take the corporate personal with help from Blackstone Inc. This potential deal might carry an finish to L’Occitane’s 14-year stint on the Hong Kong inventory change.

Sources acquainted with the matter have disclosed that Blackstone Inc., the world’s largest different asset supervisor, may present debt financing for the buyout. Whereas the small print are nonetheless personal, an official announcement might be on the horizon. Buying and selling of L’Occitane was halted in Hong Kong pending an announcement associated to takeover codes, and the inventory closed at HK$29.50 on Monday.

Though discussions are progressing, nothing has been finalized but, and there’s nonetheless a risk that negotiations might be postponed or fall via. Blackstone declined to touch upon the matter, and L’Occitane redirected inquiries to a regulatory assertion launched earlier.

L’Occitane boasts a market worth of roughly HK$43.6 billion ($5.6 billion), with a majority stake held by an organization managed by Chairman Geiger. Geiger’s obvious want to take the corporate personal might counsel {that a} succession plan is in movement.

If profitable, Geiger’s bid to denationalise the worldwide cosmetics firm will mark the fruits of a interval marked by important adjustments. After stepping down as CEO in 2021 and appointing Andre J. Hoffmann as his successor, Geiger introduced in January {that a} new CEO, beforehand affiliated with LVMH, will take the helm in April.

Geiger’s two sons maintain senior administration positions throughout the firm, elevating questions on its future management. The 76-year-old, who not often engages with the media, hinted in a 2012 interview that his sons won’t in the end take over the enterprise.

L’Occitane was based in 1976 by French businessman Olivier Baussan, initially producing important oils from vegetation like lavender in Provence. Geiger, a minority shareholder since 1994, elevated his involvement in response to the corporate’s underperformance, ultimately main its growth into international markets.

Whereas L’Occitane presently spans 90 nations with eight manufacturers and over 3,000 areas, its income disproportionately comes from the Americas moderately than Asia, the corporate’s preliminary goal. In a difficult retail panorama, L’Occitane faces robust competitors in China, the place fixed reductions from international giants like L’Oreal SA and Estee Lauder Cos. are shaking up the market.

Regardless of China being L’Occitane’s prime market by gross sales lately, the US overtook it final 12 months. Moreover, the corporate has skilled declining income, with a 51% drop in revenue for the monetary 12 months ending March 2023.

Because the potential buyout evolves, stakeholders eagerly await additional developments. Keep tuned for extra updates on this unfolding story.

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