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Coty Inc. gearing towards initial public offering

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Coty Inc. seems to be heading towards an initial public offering, as industry watchers speculate. Two private equity firms, Berkshire Partners and Rhône, made a cash infusion into the beauty firm, making minority equity investments in the $3.6 billion Coty. Apart from the fact that each of the investors will be represented on the board of Coty Inc., no other details of the transaction were disclosed. The investments may be means to fund acquisitions by Coty Inc. In late 2010 Coty Inc., acquired OPI Products Inc., Philosophy Inc., Tjoy and Dr. Scheller Cosmetics. These purchases ran up a bill of over $2 billion for Coty Inc. These purchases may be to ease off some of those financial burdens. Explaining Coty Inc.’s stand on these expensive acquisitions, Chief Executive Officer Coty Inc., Bernd Beetz, said “It is important that we broaden our footprint and build strength in color cosmetics and skin care.” Another theory by industry watchers suggest that these acquisitions are in anticipation of an initial public offering already planned by the beauty firm. Sources speculate that the IPO may have already been in the market had it not been for the recession. Some sources maintain that Coty Inc.’s owner, Ludwigshafen, Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH, a private holding company, had ambitions to take Coty Inc. public, for over a decade. A future IPO could provide a logical exit strategy for Rhône and Berkshire, which counts Bare Escentuals among its former investments.


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