Industry sources commented that a tentative proposal by rival Henkel to link up with Beiersdorf had been spurned by Tchibo, which owns 30% of Beiersdorf. Allianz, which holds 44% of the company, has said it would sell its holding at the right price, but Beiersdorf executives insisted the company is currently seeking to make takeovers of its own.
“We are clearly big enough to continue to grow more strongly than most of our competitors under our own steam,” insisted chief executive Rolf Kunisch. “We are also interested in acquisitions, particularly in the U.S. Beiersdorf Inc. USA is already our largest business after Germany and with $300 million in annual sales there, we already have a very considerable presence. But the U.S. is so big that an even bigger chunk would be helpful.”