On Monday, a halt was called to trading in Hong Kong ahead of an announcement by L'Occitane International SA. The company had announced to the market last month the potential of a buyout offer from chairman Reinold Geiger’s investment holding company, L’Occitane Groupe, at no less than HK$26.00 a share.
On Tuesday, the company said in a statement published on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, “The board of directors of the company announces that it was informed by the controlling shareholder on September 3, 2023, that it has decided not to proceed with the possible transaction.”
When news broke that a deal to take the company private would not happen, shares fell almost 30%. The decision will curb speculation of a potential European listing. Jefferies analysts speculated the decision might suggest a discrepancy between the controlling shareholder and minority shareholders on an offer price.
Austrian billionaire Reinold Geiger's investment holding company L'Occitane Groupe SA owns 72.5% of the skincare firm. Over the past decade, Geiger has doubled sales and grown its retail footprint to 3,000 outlets in 90 countries.
Headquartered in Luxembourg and Geneva, L’Occitane International was one of the first Western companies to sell its primary shares in the Asian financial hub listing on the Hong Kong exchange in 2010, raising $787 million in its initial public offering.
The French beauty group’s portfolio includes L’Occitane en Provence, L’Occitane au Brésil, Melvita, Erborian, LimeLife by Alcone, and Duolab, a brand incubated and launched by the group in 2020. The group recently bolstered its ranks by acquiring Elemis in a $900 million deal in 2019 and taking majority stakes in Sol de Janeiro in 2021 and Grown Alchemist in 2022.
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