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L’Occitane shares jump as whispers of the company going private get louder

Chloe Burney
15 August 2023

The owner of beauty and skincare giant, L’Occitane, is considering taking the company private, meaning the company would be de-listed from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Reinold Geiger, who controls nearly three-quarters of the company’s shares, is considering a take-private deal more than ten years after floating the business in Hong Kong. L’Occitane was listed in 2010 with the hope to grow the business in the Far East.

The 76-year-old billionaire has a majority shareholding through investment group Groupe L’Occitane and is reportedly in advanced talks to take full control.

Reinold Geiger

L’Occitane was founded by Olivier Baussan in 1976 and now, nearly 50 years later, it trades from approximately 2,774 sites in 90 countries. The company, which also owns luxury skincare brand Elemis, boasts over 8,500 employees.

Since whispers of this news grew louder, shares in L’Occitane jumped by 8.8%, or £0.23 (HK$2.25), yesterday to £2.74 (HK$27.25).

In an announcement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, the group said that reports of a takeover included a "misleading timetable and baseless rumour about the offer price".

The statement continued: "The controlling shareholder is still considering its options, including the option of not pursuing any transaction at all, depending on market conditions and pending a feasible financing and structure option."

Geiger has indicated to executives that any offer for the shares that weren't his would be made at a minimum of £2.60 (HK$26) per share.

Earlier this year, L'Occitane Group released its financial results for the year ending 31 March 2022, revealing a 15.8% increase in net sales to £1.5 billion (€1.78 billion). The company hit a "record" net profit, up by 57.5% to £208 million (€241.9 million).

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