EU clears Coty acquisition of P&G beauty businesses

BRUSSELS, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Tuesday it had approved Coty Inc’s planned acquisition of Procter & Gamble’s beauty products businesses by Coty after concluding the market competition would remain sufficiently strong.

Coty, the U.S. maker of Calvin Klein and Chloe perfume, will buy Procter & Gamble’s perfume, hair care and make-up businesses for $12.5 billion in the biggest cosmetics merger in recent history.

Coty would become the No. 1 perfume maker ahead of L’Oreal and No. 3 make-up provider behind its French rival and Estee Lauder.

It would run the perfume licenses of Gucci and Hugo Boss as well as make-up brands such as Max Factor, more than doubling its size with combined sales of more than $10 billion.

The Commission said that consumers would continue to have a large array of choices in fragrances such as Avon, L’Oreal and LVMH and in colour cosmetics, such as L’Oreal and Cosnova.

“The Commission concluded that strong independent players would remain active in all the concerned markets,” the Commission, which rules on competition matters in the European Union, said in a statement. (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Francesco Guarascio)