April 11 Investment firm Richmont Holdings, a
former shareholder of Avon Products Inc, is preparing a
takeover offer for the beauty products company that rejected a
$10 billion bid from a smaller rival earlier this month, Fortune
Richmont Chairman John Rochon had unsuccessfully tried to
buy Avon in the late 1980s when he was the chief executive at
privately held rival Mary Kay, Fortune said.
Avon survived as an independent company after rebuffing that
offer and another from cosmetics company Amway.
Richmont, which was once Avon's biggest shareholder but
ultimately sold its stake, has investments in sectors like
banking, publishing and technology, according to its website.
Richmont and Avon did not immediately respond to requests
Earlier this month, Avon, struggling with falling sales and
a regulatory probe, rejected an unsolicited bid from smaller
rival Coty Inc, and named Johnson & Johnson senior
executive Sherilyn McCoy as its new CEO.
Coty and Avon had held talks a few months ago about a merger
that would have involved Avon buying Coty, Chairman Bart Becht
had told Reuters when Coty went public with its takeover bid.
But as Avon did not make an offer, Coty made a verbal bid,
followed by three letters to former Avon CEO Andrea Jung, Becht
Avon, the world's largest direct seller of cosmetics, has
had declining sales in markets like the United States, Brazil
and Russia. Its famous army of "Avon ladies" sales
representatives is shrinking because of uncompetitive
commissions and stiff competition.
The company announced in December that Jung would step down
as CEO after spending more than a decade at the helm. Jung is
still its executive chairman.
Avon shares were up 4 percent at $23.10 in early morning
trade on the New York Stock Exchange.