Nocibé sale talks go cold

The British investment house Charterhouse has decided not to sell the French perfumery chain

British investment house Charterhouse has decided not to sell the French perfumery chain Nocibé, according to French newspaper Le Figaro, despite several weeks of discussions with Douglas. The firm will now hold onto Nocibé for another few years, undertaking a plan to refinance the company’s debt.

If the sale to Douglas had gone ahead, it would have created France’s second largest perfumery chain, behind Sephora but ahead of Marionnaud, and would have given Douglas, which was recently acquired by US investment house Advent Holdings, a better foothold in the French market.

The directors of Advent Holdings, said Le Figaro, “hoped that Charterhouse would lower its ambitions in view of the crisis of consumption in France, and because of the difficulties of selling its other holdings in France”. These comprise the retail clothing chain Vivarte and restaurant services chain Elior.

The sale of Nocibé had been rumoured since October 2012, with a figure of €600m being mentioned by sources close to Bloomberg, but Douglas emerged as the only serious contender for the perfumery chain and was believed to be considering a figure closer to €500m.

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