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L’Occitane stock still halted as owner reportedly tries again to privatize beauty company

April 14, 2024
Consumer Packaged Goods

L’Occitane International owner Reinold Geiger is reportedly close to taking the company private in a deal with Blackstone. The French skin care company’s filing halted trading of its Hong Kong-listed shares this week.

This is the second time in months that the Australian billionaire has attempted a buyout. Apparently, Blackstone is now helping finance the debt. L’Occitane has been trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since May 2010.

According to exchange filings, chairman Geiger controls over 70% of the business.

Financial position
L’Occitane’s FY23/24 interim report highlights net sales of 41.3% in the Americas, 24.1% in EMEA and 34.6% in Asia Pacific. H1 2024 reported net sales of €1,072 million (US$1.2 billion) compared to €900.5 million (US$967 million) in the same period last year.

“The macroeconomic landscape in the first half of FY2024 continued to be clouded by uncertainties, with muted consumer confidence and persistent inflation in major economies,” comments Geiger.

“Under this backdrop, we stayed entrepreneurial and agile, proactively investing in all of our brands to strengthen our position as a geographically balanced multi-brand group. Net sales grew 25% at constant rates to exceed €1 billion [US$1.1 billion], mainly driven by our two largest brands, L’Occitane’ en Provence and Sol de Janeiro. We are proud of this achievement, as we considerably outperformed top premium beauty brands in key markets.”

L’Occitane says its operating profit margin, which amounts to 8.4% on a management basis, was impacted by the higher marketing expenditures. L’Occitane is certain that these investments will seize growth opportunities and advance the development of its brands, even though they anticipate that the increased level of investment will shorten our margins in the near future.

With a growth rate of 189%, Sol de Janeiro’s performance exceeded the company’s initial projections.

L’Occitane has 3,292 retail locations and operates 1,364 stores.

Grown Alchemist leaves L’Occitane
Last week, biological beauty company Grown Alchemist decided to leave the L’Occitane Group to become a privately held company. Andre Hoffmann, the former vice-chairman and CEO of L’Occitane International, acquired a majority controlling stake, with Grown Alchemist’s CEO, Anna Teal, taking on a minority shareholder role.

Earlier this year, L’Occitane acquired the Italian home fragrance brand Dr. Vranjes Firenze. The brand is known for its luxury home scents, which are available in over 75 countries. It has a network that includes 28 mono-brand stores and 650 points of sale.

By Venya Patel


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