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Blackstone considers L’Occitane acquisition

French skincare company L’Occitane may be snapped up by alternative investment giant Blackstone, according to a report by Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter.

Shares of the $5.36bn skincare company, known in full as L’Occitane en Provence, have since risen by as much as 15.4% to HKD30, the highest level since February 2022, when they peaked at more than double the firm’s IPO price.

The Luxembourg-headquartered company, which first went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2010 — a decision attributed to the number of shops located in the city and subsequently high brand awareness — has a current market value of HKD42.7bn ($5.4bn) with an enterprise value of about 10 times its EBITDA.

Last year, the company’s Chairman, Reinold Geiger, abandoned the possibility of taking L’Occitane private with a view to potentially relisting it in Europe at a higher valuation, leading to a slump in stocks.

Some 70% of L’Occitane is currently controlled by Geiger via an investment vehicle.

Blackstone is currently conducting due diligence but has also considered the possibility of a joint buyout with Geiger.

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