Coty shunned after calling on Avon with $10bn bid
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Tuesday 03 April 2012
Avon Products, the cosmetics company, has turned its nose up at a $10bn (£6.24bn) takeover offer from the perfume maker Coty.
The bid for Avon is the boldest move so far by its chairman Bart Brecht, who has been running Coty since retiring as chief executive of the household products giant Reckitt Benckiser. Mr Becht decided to go public with details of his offer in an attempt to bounce the Avon board into talks, but they said the company was worth far more.
Acquisition-hungry Coty makes perfumes for the likes of David and Victoria Beckham, Beyoncé and J-Lo, as well as toiletries under its own brand. It is owned by the descendents of Johann Benckiser, one of Reckitt Benckiser's founders, and has annual revenues of $4bn.
It has pounced on Avon at a time the company is at its weakest, beset by bribery accusations and a leadership vacuum, having recently parted company with its long-time chief executive, Andrea Jung.
Avon today is an $11bn annual business with around 6.5 million independent sales reps in more than 100 countries.
Ms Jung, the Ivy League-educated marketing executive who had been chief executive since 1999, was hailed a hero when Avon became the first company to win a licence to sell door-to-door in China in 2006.
Corruption allegations first emerged from a whistleblower in China, who said government officials there were receiving lavish gifts from Avon employees who travelled with them. The company has also found other questionable practices far and wide, from Japan to India to Argentina.
Coty began looking at Avon last October. Avon said Coty's latest offer was no advance on one it had rejected two weeks ago.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
- 3 Do you know this man? Amnesia sufferer found in park pleads for help in identifying who he is
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 5 Tony Abbott embarrasses Australia by praising Japanese WWII military, ‘getting on the sake’ and posing for ‘crotch-shot’ photo opportunity
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Do you know this man? Amnesia sufferer found in park pleads for help in identifying who he is
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organ...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - UNI...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Systems Administrator - Orac...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - (Su...