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Avon, after breakup, explores deal to put company back together -WSJ

March 22 (Reuters) - Cosmetics maker Avon Products Inc , which split itself three years ago, has been considering a deal that would put the company back together, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Avon’s directors have discussed a sale to Brazilian rival Natura & Co, and the talks include a scenario in which Natura would buy Avon’s now private North American business, in addition to the publicly traded Avon, the report said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The talks are preliminary and may not result in a deal, the report added.

“We never comment on this kind of speculation,” an Avon spokeswoman told Reuters via email. “We remain firmly focused on delivering Avon’s ‘Open Up’ transformation strategy.”

Natura did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

New York-based Avon had sold a majority stake in its underperforming North American business to private equity firm Cerberus Capital in 2015, while retaining a roughly 20 percent interest.

Shares in Avon were up 6 percent in early trading after having risen as much as 11 percent earlier on Friday. (Reporting by Jaslein Mahil in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)