l In an effort to move closer to L’Oréal in the global hair care arena, Procter & Gamble will acquire Wella for nearly $6 billion. Under terms of the agreement, P&G will acquire 77.6% of the founding Stroeher family’s common shares.
This represents 50.7% of Wella’s total share capital, and amounts to an overall payment of 3.2 billion euros ($3.40 billion), or 92.25 euros a voting share, industry sources said.
P&G is set to clinch a deal to acquire Wella for roughly $5.9 billion, according to industry sources. Under German law, P&G is required to bid for the rest of the shares not controlled by the family. P&G executives also said that the company will launch a public tender bid for the remaining common shares, paying minorities a similar price of 92.25 euros. P&G said it will also offer 61.50 euros a preferred share. P&G’s efforts for the remaining common shares could encounter resistance from Henkel AG, which said in a statement that it had acquired a 6.86% stake in Wella.
Wella management insisted that the company could further demonstrate strong growth were it to remain independent. Until antitrust authorities grant their approval of the deal and the shares are then transferred to P&G, management said there will be no major changes in the running of Wella’s operations.
“We will continue to implement our (growth) strategy 2005 and pursue our internal targets,” Heiner Guertler, Wella’s chief executive officer, said.
A deal would cement P&G’s position as a leading beauty company, according to executives. P&G already owns beauty brands such as Cover Girl, Max Factor and Pantene, and has been looking to expand its position in Europe.
P&G has made repeated attempts to convince the Stroeher various issues, such as price. P&G executives believe that a deal with Wella would give P&G a major foothold in an area new to the company: European eauty salons.
Wella is the second largest professional hair color company in Europe, with 24% of the European market, behind L’Oréal, with 29%, according to estimates by Goldman Sachs.