Clarins to refocus portfolio after delisting

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Company Stock market

Clarins says that after its proposed delisting is complete it
intends to go ahead with plans to refocus its portfolio, despite a
negative stock market reaction.

Christian Courtins-Clarins, company CEO, says that an earlier announcement that it would focus on its leading brands, Thierry Mugler, Azzaro and Clarins led to a rally from investors that impacted the company towards the end of June.

"It is for this reason that we must invest in the long term, to open our own boutiques, and the Paris Bourse does not like that, which in turn holds us back," said Courtins-Clarins in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro.

Courtins-Clarins went on to explain that the company's plan for the future is not as straight forward as simply concentrating on the core brands to ensure further growth.

He also pointed out that the company intends to invest and expand its make-up and color cosmetic offerings - underlining the myBlend and Kibio brand names - as well stressing potential for the Porsche fragrance brand and the Swarovski brand for both fragrance and make-up.

The company did release an official statement at the beginning of the year that the necessary investment to support the growth of these brands would effect revenue growth by between four and six percent during the coming financial year.

Brand development will hit profits Likewise, Courtins-Clarins pointed out that the investment in the development of the brands will also serve to diminish profits in the short-term, another reason that could have led to further investment speculation with potentially negative connotations.

Clarins remains one of the world's last independent cosmetic companies of any significant size, and has consequently been the source of must speculation in recent years.

That speculation grew enormously in March of last year, with the passing away of the company's founder Jacques Courtins-Clarins, leaving the running of the business to his two sons, Christian, and Olivier who heads up the company's research and development operations.

Currently the Courtins-Clarins family maintains a 65 per cent stake of the business' capital and a 78 per cent stake in the voting rights on the executive board.

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

Shares suspended But following further investment speculation the company made the decision to suspend share dealing on June 26.

The shares were suspended at €43.72 ($68.76) on the Paris Bourse during mid-morning trading, which gives the company an estimated value in excess of €1.8bn.

In a press conference that followed the announcement, the company said that it would invest a total of €842.79m to back the scheme.

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.

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.

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