Update: L’Occitane owner confirms intention to take business private

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 30-Apr-2024

Owner Reinold Geiger aims to ‘rebuild’ the foundations of the business through the deal

L’Occitane’s billionaire owner has confirmed his intention to privatise the luxury skin care firm.

Reinold Geiger has made an official offer to acquire his outstanding shares in the company at a purchase price of HK$34 per share, with the transaction worth an estimated €1.7bn.

This would value the company at €6bn on an equity value basis.

The move would also delist the company from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, a decision  which will create more value for minority shareholders, said Geiger.

He added it would provide “greater flexibility” in making longer-term business decisions.

“The rationale is to allow the current management team, which would remain in place, to continue operations of the company's business as it is and invest in long-term sustainable growth initiatives as a privately held company,” L’Occitane Groupe said in a statement.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs and private equity firm Blackstone are supporting the transaction through their own funding.

“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,” Geiger added.

“The transaction we are launching today will enable us to focus on rebuilding the foundation for the long-term sustainable growth of our company.”

L’Occitane suspended the trading of its Hong Kong-listed shares on 9 April pending the announcement of takeover, with the business’ stock closing at HK$29.50.

It followed a previous attempt by Geiger to buy out the business in 2023, with the eventual aim of seeking a higher valuation for the beauty company via a European listing.

Geiger’s plan to take the business private was shelved in September 2023, however, causing shares to plunge by nearly 30% after trading resumed following a short halt.

L'Occitane Group also recently appointed Laurent Marteau its new Group CEO in a leadership shakeup this year. 

Marteau replaced André J Hoffmann, who has acted as Group CEO since 2021.

L’Occitane would go on to sell Grown Alchemist to Hoffmann in April 2024 for €28m.

The Australian natural beauty brand's CEO Anna Teal was also named a minority shareholder at the time.

L'Occitane acquired Grown Alchemist in 2022. 

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