Private equity firm Blackstone Inc. is reportedly interested in acquiring skin-care company L’Occitane International SA. Sources familiar with the matter have disclosed that Blackstone has been conducting preliminary due diligence as it evaluates the possibility of making a bid for the company. Additionally, Blackstone is exploring the option of collaborating with L’Occitane’s chairman, Reinold Geiger, on a potential buyout. It is important to note that discussions are still in the early stages, and there is no certainty that a formal proposal will be made. However, there is also a possibility that other potential suitors may show interest in acquiring L’Occitane.
On Monday, L’Occitane shares in Hong Kong experienced a slight increase of 0.8%, resulting in a market value of around HK$38.4 billion ($4.9 billion). It is worth mentioning that last year, Geiger had considered taking the company private with the intention of relisting it in Europe at a higher valuation. However, this plan was eventually abandoned, leading to a decline in L’Occitane’s stock.
Based on exchange filings, an investment vehicle controlled by Geiger currently owns over 70% of L’Occitane. Although Blackstone’s involvement could potentially lead to a formal proposal, it has not been confirmed yet. It is also noteworthy that L’Occitane may attract interest from other parties as well.
Both Blackstone and L’Occitane have chosen not to comment on this matter at this time. L’Occitane, headquartered in Luxembourg, went public on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2010. While its stock reached its peak in 2022 at more than double the initial public offering (IPO) price, it has since experienced a decline. According to Bloomberg data, at the end of Monday, L’Occitane’s enterprise value was around ten times its estimated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization, while comparable companies typically trade at over thirteen times these earnings.