PARIS L'Oreal (OREP.PA) said on Monday it had signed the share purchase agreement selling to Nestle NESN.VX its holding in dermatology joint venture Galderma, a key step to completing its deal to buy back shares from the Swiss food giant.
L'Oreal announced last month it would buy back for 6.5 billion euros ($9 billion) an 8 percent stake held by Nestle in the French cosmetics group, loosening a 40-year partnership and allowing both firms to boost earnings per share.
The deal hinged on the sale to Nestle of L'Oreal's holding in their Galderma joint venture - which will leave Nestle with 100 percent of Galderma. This share purchase agreement was signed on Friday, but completion of the sale remains conditional to approval by the competition authorities, L'Oreal said in a statement.
(Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by Andrew Callus)