April 16 Beauty product company Coty Inc, whose
$10 billion bid for larger rival Avon Products Inc was
rejected earlier this month, indicated it might raise its offer
if it was invited to examine the direct seller's books.
Coty said it remained interested in discussing its proposal
with Avon, which named Johnson & Johnson senior
executive Sherilyn McCoy as its new CEO last week.
"At this stage, without being invited to complete due
diligence, we have no way of knowing the best price we can
ultimately pay to Avon shareholders," the company said in a
Coty had made an unsolicited $23.25 per-share offer for
Avon, which is seeing declining sales at home and in key markets
including Brazil and Russia and also facing a U.S. probe into
overseas bribery allegations.
Avon rejected the bid, arguing that the company's value
could rise more under a new CEO than as part of Coty.
Coty said it was confident in its ability to finance the
acquisition and that it has arranged for equity commitments of
more than $5 billion. It added that it has also received a
highly confident letter from J.P. Morgan Securities LLC for debt
Avon's former shareholder Richmont Holdings said last week
that it was preparing a takeover offer for the beauty products
company, according to Fortune magazine.
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 shares closed at $23.52 on Friday on the New York Stock
Exchange. They were trading up nearly 1 percent before the bell.