Avon Shares Surge on Report of Unrequited Interest From Natura

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s Natura Cosmeticos recently approached Avon Products about a takeover, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The companies aren’t currently in discussions, Natura said. Avon shares jumped 25 percent.

Key Takeaways

  • Natura is still digesting its $1.1 billion acquisition of retail chain Body Shop, a deal announced in 2017 that was meant to help it expand beyond its traditional direct-sales business. So buying Avon, which pioneered direct sales with the Avon Lady, would be ironic.
  • When Natura agreed to buy Body Shop, the retailer was operating in 66 countries. Avon has also been focusing on international opportunities since moving its headquarters to London in 2016.
  • In Brazil, Natura is known for marketing “natural” products and working with indigenous communities to source ingredients for its cosmetics. Avon’s been trying to modernize its image, putting up videos on YouTube with LGBT models.

Market Reaction

Avon shares climbed to $2.59 in late trading. If that gain holds through tomorrow’s close, it’d be the highest since May.

  • Natura Cosmeticos, Avon aren’t in serious talks, and Avon has received other expressions of interest
  • Avon is focused on turning itself around and reviving its shares, one person said
  • Natura said in a statement “there are no negotiations in progress concerning a possible acquisition of Avon”; declined further comment to the WSJ
  • Spokesman for Avon declined to comment to the WSJ

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