Clarins reaffirms intention to stay independent

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Clarins, Company, Stock market

As shares in the luxury French cosmetics player continue
to fluctuate over take-over speculation, Clarin's executives
have again confirmed their intentions that the company will remain
independent.

The company released an official statement yesterday following two weeks of mixed fortunes on the Paris stock exchange fuelled by investor speculation. "In view of persisting rumours surrounding Clarins stock, we want to say once again that the Courtin-Clarins family, a majority shareholder, doens not plan to give up control of the group,"​ the statement said. The statement came after French watchdog AMF asked the group to respond to continued speculation over takeover bids, the company told Reuters. Currently Christian Courtin-Clarins maintains a 65 per cent of the business's capity, along with his brother Olivier, who is responsible for the company's research and development. The family also holds a 78 per cent stake in the voting rights on the company's executive board. Speculation over the company's future began in March this year, when its founder Jacques-Courtin -Clarins died, leaving his son Christian to head up the business. Last week Christian Courtin-Clarins said in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, "All the competition is interested in Clarins, they have made offers, but freedom does not have a price. We will remain our own governors".​ The article ran with the headline, 'Clarins would prefer to make acquisitions to being acquired', highlighting the fact that Courtin-Clarins intends for the company to expand by being acquisitive itself. Clarins also stated in the article that the business could mobilise around €800m for future investments, indicating that the United States could prove a focus for an acquisitions in the production arena, given the favourable exchange rates against the euro. Earlier in the week, news linking Clarins to a possible buy-out by PPR had prompted shares to rise further pushing them above the €67 mark and giving the company an estimated market value in excess of €2.7bn. Clarins is a relatively small player in the cosmetics world but an important brand because of its global associations with prestige skin care - a market that is growing fast on a worldwide basis. The company had a turnover of €967m in 2006. Although the company has been particularly hard hit by difficulties in the highly competitive US market, where sales fell heavily at the start of the year, recent results showed that it had rallied for the most recent third quarter, following small gains in the US market. Last week news linking Clarins to a possible buy-out by PPR had prompted shares to rise further pushing them above the €67 mark and giving the company an estimated market value in excess of €2.7bn. Other companies also thought to be interested in a possible takeover include Beiersdorf, Procter & Gamble and L'Oreal. Clarins is a relatively small player in the cosmetics world but an important brand because of its global associations with prestige skin care - a market that is growing fast on a worldwide basis. The company had a turnover of €967m in 2006. Although the company has been particularly hard hit by difficulties in the highly competitive US market, where sales fell heavily at the start of the year, recent results showed that it had rallied for the most recent third quarter, following small gains in the US market.

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