June 9, 2020 / 2:46 PM / a month ago

Natura &Co says 'cyber incident' partially hit Avon operations; shares fall

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian cosmetics maker Natura &Co (NTCO3.SA) said on Tuesday its subsidiary Avon has suffered a cyber incident that has halted some of its systems, partially hitting operations.

“Avon is assessing the extent of this incident and working diligently to mitigate its effects, making every effort to normalize its operations,” Natura &Co said in a securities filing without elaborating.

The company did not indicate how Avon operations were affected and when the problem would be solved.

Brazilian brokerage Guide saw the announcement as negative, adding the cyber attack shows “weakness in the company’s digital security system.”

Shares in Natura &Co were trading 1.8% down on Tuesday at 40.46 reais after hitting an intraday low of 39.88 reais earlier.

In May 2019, Natura &Co became the world’s fourth-largest pure-play beauty group after acquiring rival Avon Products.

Almost a year later, the company raised total expected synergies for its takeover to between $300 million and $400 million on an annual recurring basis from $200 million-$300 million in January, when the transaction was concluded.

But costs related to the tie-up dragged down Natura &Co’s bottom line in the first-quarter, overshadowing timid revenue growth during the coronavirus pandemic.

Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by David Gregorio

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