Sanofi could acquire L\'Oréal\'s stake


Speculation that L\'Oréal may sell its €9bn stake in drugs company to facilitate the buy back of €23bn Nestlé stake intensifies

Speculation over L'Oréal's intentions regarding Sanofi was ignited last month by comments from L'Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon that L'Oréal could buy back Nestlé's €23bn stake in L'Oréal, provided L'Oréal in turn sold its €9bn stake in the French drug maker. Now Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher has fuelled this further. Speaking at an investor conference, Viehbacher said that Sanofi had the resources to undertake “opportunistic” share buy backs.

Although Sanofi has suffered disappointing quarterly results, Reuters reports that analysts believe the drug maker could use the opportunity to repurchase L'Oréal's shares with cheap debt, thereby boosting its earnings.

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Restrictions on Nestlé selling its stake in L'Oréal end April 2014.