L’Occitane confirms owner contemplating possible deal to take it private

(Reuters) -Hong Kong-listed L’Occitane International SA confirmed on Friday that its controlling shareholder is contemplating a potential deal to take the skincare company private, but said no definitive agreement has gone through in this regard.

The Luxembourg- and Geneva-headquartered firm, however, said the speculated price contained in the media reports of about HK$35 for each L’Occitane share is “false and without basis”.

The company said if a deal were to go through, the potential offer price would be no less than HK$26.00 per share.

“Nevertheless, the controlling shareholder is still considering its options, including the option of not pursing any transaction at all, depending on market conditions and pending a feasible financing and structure option,” the company said in an exchange filing.

Shares in the Luxembourg- and Geneva-headquartered firm were halted after Bloomberg News reported that billionaire Chairman Reinold Geiger was in advanced talks to take L’Occitane International private, valuing the firm at around $6.5 billion.

Geiger has been speaking to advisers about the possibility of relisting the skincare products group on a European exchange as soon as next year, sources had told Reuters.

In May-end, Geiger’s investment holding company, L’Occitane Groupe SA, owned 72.7% of the skincare firm.

The company has made an application to the stock exchange for the resumption of trading in shares due to take effect on Aug. 14, it said.

(Reporting by Roushni Nair and Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)