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L’Occitane International goes private on USD 1.8 billion deal

L’Occitane International has announced major stakeholder Reinold Geiger has decided to take the Hong Kong-listed company private, in a multi-billion dollar deal.

SEE ALSO: L’Occitane sees growth opportunity in APAC travel retail for its niche beauty and skincare brands

The owner of L’Occitane en Provence, Sol de Janeiro, Melvita and Elemis said Geiger -whose holding company, L’Occitane Group, owned 72.39 percent of the cosmetics company at March-end – will acquire the remaining company shares.

Under the deal, Austrian billionaire Geiger will pay HKD 34 for each share not already owned, representing a 15.3 percent premium to the stock’s last close of HKD 29.50 on April 8.

The offer price represents an approximate 60.83 percent premium to L’Occitane’s 60-trading day average closing price of HKD 21.14 per share, the holding company said.

As a result, the takeover deal values L’Occitane International at some HKD 13.91 billion (USD 1.8 billion).

“Our family has always taken a responsible, long-term view when it comes to developing our company,” said Reinold Geiger, current majority owner of the company.

“The cosmetics sector is undergoing profound changes, and our company has significantly transformed into a geographically balanced multi-brand group, marked by strategic acquisitions such as Elemis, Sol de Janeiro, and, most recently, Dr. Vranjes Firenze. The transaction we are launching today will enable us to focus on rebuilding the foundation for the long-term sustainable growth of our company.”

Geiger has secured irrevocable undertakings from shareholders that own about 25.79 percent of the company to accept his offer, L’Occitane Groupe said, adding the holding firm does not intend to increase the offer price for the deal.

Geiger plans to finance a part of the deal using external debt facilities provided by Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, with additional financing from Blackstone Inc., and Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

The announcement comes a few months after Geiger shelved a buyout attempt for the company in September,

L’Occitane was listed in Hong Kong in 2010. The city has recently emerged as an epicentre of buyout deals, with a range of companies having depressed valuations, according to Reuters.