Douglas in exclusive talks to buy French perfume chain Nocibe

FRANKFURT Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:16am EDT

FRANKFURT Oct 21 (Reuters) - German books to cosmetics retailer Douglas said on Monday it is in exclusive talks to buy French perfumery chain Nocibe, in a deal that would leapfrog it to the number two spot in France.

The transaction is part of plans by Douglas to expand its perfumeries business, which it sees as having the strongest growth prospects within its portfolio of perfumery, confectionary, jewellery and book stores.

With a combined 625 stores and 4,000 employees, the deal would make Douglas, owned by private equity firm Advent, the second largest perfumery chain in France behind LVMH's Sephora in terms of revenue.

It did not provide a price for the deal. Media reports last week had suggested a valuation of between 500 million euro and 550 million euros ($685-$753 million) for Nocibe.

Nocibe is owned by private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners. Buyout firm LBO France was also reportedly interested in Nocibe.