Beauty company Coty prices IPO at midpoint of expected range

Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:33pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Coty (COTY.N) priced its initial public offering at $17.50 a share on Wednesday in the middle of the expected range, a source briefed on the matter said, as the maker of celebrity perfumes went public after a recent surge in beauty company stock values.

The New York-based company, majority-owned by the billionaire Reimann family of Germany through their Joh A. Benckiser investment vehicle, raised nearly $1 billion by pricing 57.1 million shares as planned.

It had intended to price shares at a range of $16.50 to $18.50.

Coty, founded in Paris in 1904 by Francois Coty, said it would not receive any proceeds from the share sale. Joh. A Benckiser, which owns around 82 percent of Coty and whose additional holdings include shoemaker Jimmy Choo and coffee company Caribou Coffee, is offering 43.6 million shares.

Private equity firms Berkshire Partners and Rhone, which each own around 7.1 percent of Coty, are offering the additional shares.

Coty posted net revenue of $3.6 billion in the nine months ended March 31, flat from the same period a year prior.

The company intended to go public last year, but pushed back its efforts following a CEO change. CEO Michele Scannavini took over from Bernd Beetz last July.

Coty made a failed $10.7 billion bid for Avon Products Inc (AVP.N) in 2012.

Coty sells perfumes under the names of celebrities like Beyonce Knowles, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.

Coty's IPO comes as other beauty companies like Estee Lauder Cos Inc (EL.N) and Elizabeth Arden Inc RDEN.N have seen their shares rise more than 22 and 32 percent, respectively, in the last 12 months.

It also comes amid a dearth of large IPOs from U.S. consumer companies.

BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are leading the offering.

Coty will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol COTY.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran; Editing by Gary Hill)

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