Douglas bids for Nocibé

Douglas was the final bidder for the Nocibé perfumery chain

Douglas Holding, the parent company of the Douglas perfumery chain, is now the final bidder for the Nocibé perfumery chain, according to financial paper Bloomberg. However, there’s also media speculation that Nocibé’s current owner, Charterhouse, is weighing a refinancing of Nocibé debt and may decide to hold onto the company rather than sell it.

Charterhouse bought Nocibé from Bridgepoint Advisers in 2006 for €490m, and was believed to be looking for valuation of around €600m, but Bloomberg said its sources were talking about figures closer to €500m.

Douglas declined to comment on the rumours, which have plagued Nocibé since the idea of a sale was first mooted in October last year by the website Wansquare. Nocibé and Charterhouse have both remained silent on the issue in the intervening months.

Nocibé is France’s third biggest perfumery chain and has 450 outlets and 3,000 members of staff. Teamed with Douglas, which has some 300 outlets, and which was newly bought by the Advent Group last year, it would pose a serious challenge to the country’s number one perfumery chain, Sephora, owned by luxury goods giant LVMH.

In June, Douglas board member Manfred Kroneder said Douglas planned to expand through targeted acquisitions and was ready to invest up to €500m to grow its beauty retailing business.

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