Douglas/Nocibé acquisition rumours hot up

Vendor Charterhouse waiting for other competitive bids

The German perfumery group Douglas is still strongly in contention to acquire France's third largest perfumery enterprise, Nocibé. Nocibé, with 455 perfumeries in France, was put up for sale in early April this year by the investment fund Charterhouse.

Douglas' bid is now being underpinned by its new proprietor, the US investment fund Advent. Its latest annual sales figure was some €3.4bn with perfumery accounting for sales of €1.92bn. An acquisition by Douglas would create the second largest perfumery company in France, ahead of Marionnaud and sources close to the German enterprise say that Nocibé is well capable of further expansion in France and in Latin America.

However, Charterhouse has indicated that price is critical and it has already launched a debt refinancing plan for Nocibé while at the same time waiting for a competitive bid offer from LBO France. LBO is a relatively new investment fund which would allow it to acquire part of Nocibé. LBO has therefore tied in with the Chinese conglomerate Fosun. Fosun has not yet made a decision about Nocibé and is investigating the French perfumery company's potential on the Chinese market.

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