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U.S. takeover likely for German perfume chain Douglas

By Michelle Yeomans , 24-Oct-2012
Last updated on 24-Oct-2012 at 10:26 GMT

U.S. private equity firm, Advent International has entered its bid to take over Douglas Holdings, a perfume and beauty chain that has been valued at $1.95 billion.

According to Advent, Douglas’ three main shareholders - Oetker (25.8 percent) Kreke (12.78 percent) and Müller (10.8 percent) all welcomed the offer and it now has assurances for at least 50.5 percent of the company’s share capital.

Bid

According to a company statement, upon completion of the takeover, Kreke will take a 20 percent stake in Beauty Holding Three AG, the investment channel making the offer, while the other 80 percent will be held by Advent.

The Kreke family has been reported as far back as January, as saying it aimed to take Douglas private with the help of financial investors, and that a deal had been agreed with an investor and was already backed by major shareholders.

For Advent, this deal will continue its recent track record of being one of the most active buyout groups in Europe since the credit crisis, with deals from financial services to retail.

The 38 euros per share on offer for the German chain, according to Advent and the Kreke family, is almost 42 percent above the four-week volume-weighed average share price of Douglas prior to the emergence of takeover rumors in January.

Takeover aims to continue perfume success...

If the bid is accepted, Kreke and Advent International are said to want to jointly carry forward the success of the Douglas Group, identify the company’s growth opportunities and combine their strengths to further evolve the chain.

"The main objective is to accelerate the growth of the perfume and jewelry division jointly. Major focus will be placed on an increased presence in the domestic and international markets as well as the rapid innovative integration of cross-channel sales concepts," says an Advent spokesperson.

The investees aim to complete the takeover by the end of the year.

Douglas Holdings has five main business lines including the perfume and cosmetics store chain. Joern Kreke, Douglas's 71-year-old chairman, turned his family's chain of confectioners into a diversified retail company that now has almost 2,000 outlets across Europe.

Company representatives told CosmeticsDesign.com USA that they will make a statement on the bid once the full takeover offer has been published.

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