Clarins aims at delisting with share buyout offer

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Company Stock market Stock

Clarins, one of the last sizeable independent cosmetic companies,
has offered to buy back outstanding shares in an effort to delist
from the Paris Bourse.

The company announced on Friday that it had ceased trading in its shares on the stock exchange and held a press conference in Paris this morning to announce the plans for the buy back scheme.

In the conference, which was chaired by the directors Christian and Olivier Courtin-Clarins, the family said that it would invest a total of €842.79m to back the scheme.

Buy back outstanding shares The financing, which is backed by the CIC Bank, means that the company is offering to buy back shares at €55.50 per share for each of the 15.2 million shares that are still outstanding.

Clarins shares were suspended at €43.72 last Friday, which, the company says makes the buy back proposal a good offer for investors.

Those outstanding shares not already owned by the Courtins-Clarins family account for 37.26 per cent of the total.

The company confirmed that the offer to buy the shares will run from July 18 through to September 5 and that it would resume its share trading on July 7.

Delisting should avoid volatility

Analysts believe that the move to delist Clarins will relieve it of certain financial constraints as well as reducing its exposure to the whims of investors, which in recent months has led to share price volatility.

"You cannot run a company while under constant pressure from rumors," said Christian Courtin-Clarins.

He added that the company had a long-term strategic vision, which was being jeopardized by the short-term speculation of investors on the stock markets.

Currently chairman Christian Courtin-Clarins maintains around 65 per cent of the business, along with his brother Olivier, who is responsible for the company's research and development.

Family maintains voting rights

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 last year, when its founder Jacques Courtin-Clarins died, leaving his son Christian to head up the business.

Although rumors over potential takeover bids from some of the biggest players in the business have abounded, Clarins has maintained that it wants to remain independent, fuelling speculation over its future all the more.

Back in November 2007, the company issued an official statement quashing rumors over takeover bids after it suffered a period of volatility on the stock exchange fuelled by investor speculation.

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