SEOUL South Korea's LG Household & Health Care Ltd said it is no longer interested in acquiring Elizabeth Arden Inc after the U.S. cosmetics firm announced this week it would embark on extensive restructuring due to mounting losses.
LG Household, the No.2 firm in the South Korean cosmetics market with brands such as Whoo and O Hui, is keen to expand its product lines and reach and had said it was interested in Elizabeth Arden in April.
"This at least nullifies the concern that if LG Household went after Elizabeth Arden there is a risk of paying too much for a struggling company," said Park Eun-kyung, an analyst at Samsung Securities. "But LG Household is at a juncture where it needs to seek future momentum through acquisitions, so if it's not Elizabeth Arden, the company needs to answer the question of what's next."
LG Household said it would move on to look at other opportunities that offered better value but declined to elaborate. Previous acquisitions include Japanese cosmetics firm Everlife and Canadian retailer Fruits & Passion.
Elizabeth Arden's shares shot up to trade 30 percent higher a week after LG Household's expression of interest, and the U.S. firm, known for its namesake perfume brand and skin care brands such as Ceramide and Prevage, confirmed it was exploring strategic alternatives in May.
But on Tuesday this week, Elizabeth Arden disappointed investors who were hoping for a sale of the company, announcing instead that it would exit low-return businesses and brands to improve margins.Its shares slumped in the wake of the announcement and now trade lower than levels seen just before LG Household's expression of interest.
Elizabeth Arden also sells celebrity fragrances such as Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.
(Reporting by Se Young Lee and Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)