Reimann family eyes majority stake in US cosmetics group Coty

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Barbara Santamaria
today Feb 12, 2019
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Germany’s billionaire family Reimann is looking to increase its stake in US cosmetics group Coty and gain a controlling interest. The family has offered to buy up to 150 million additional shares at a price of $11.65 per share, its privately-held investment company Jab Holding announced on Tuesday in Luxembourg.

Coty / Instagram

The transaction would cost the family a total of $1.75 billion (€1.55 billion). Jab currently owns about 40% of Coty, whose perfume brands including Gucci, Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss. The additional 150 million shares would take Jab’s interest in the firm to 60%. If it acquires 50 million shares, the minimum number of shares necessary to go through with the deal, Jab would have a 47% stake in Coty.

For investors, the offer means a hefty premium of about 21% on Coty’s share price, which closed at $9.66 on Monday. The announcement was well received on the stock market, with Coty’s shares increasing by around 18%. The New York-based group has been struggling since the acquisition of Wella and other cosmetics brands by consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble in 2016.

In November, the company overhauled its top management team following a drop in sales and a decline in its share price. CEO Camillo Pane, who joined the company in October 2016, resigned citing family reasons. Pierre Laubies, a confidant of the Reimann family who previously headed the Jacobs Douwe Egberts (also owned by Jab Holdings) was named as his successor.

The wealth of the Reimann dynasty dates back to the mid-19th century, when Johann Adam Benckiser and Karl Ludwig Reimann built a chemical plant in Ludwigshafen. As a result, the family still holds a stake in British consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser (Clearasil, Kukident, Calgon). The Reimann family was named second in a ranking of 1001 wealthiest Germans by Manager Magazine with a fortune of €33 billion.

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