Coty Withdraws Bid to Acquire Rival Avon

Beauty company cites 'continued delay and unwillingness to engage in discussions' in letter to Avon's board.

Beauty products group Coty has said it withdrew its $10.7-billion takeover bid for its larger, struggling rival Avon (IW 500/90).

"This continued delay and unwillingness to engage in discussions is disappointing and certainly not a constructive way to proceed," Coty said in a letter to Avon's board late Monday.

"Two months is enough," Coty Chairman Bart Becht said in the letter announcing the end to the takeover effort. "Consequently, as our deadline to begin discussions expired today, our proposal is withdrawn."

Avon Products, which has 6.4 million independent representatives in over 100 countries and a solid presence in emerging markets, had taken too long to respond after once rejecting the bid. In April it called Coty's proposal "significantly below" Avon's value and "opportunistic."

Coty had given Avon until Monday to respond to its latest bid, naming several equity partners in a proposed deal, among them Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, well-known for its huge war chest and savvy long-term investment picks.

Coty privately approached struggling Avon for the first time on March 7, then on March 19, with takeover offers, as the storied New York-based pioneer of direct selling founded in 1886 saw its share price tumble 36 percent in a year and a half, and its sales steadily decline.

"While we are disappointed, we wish you success in pursuing your stand-alone turnaround strategy," Coty said in the letter Monday.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

See Also:

Coty Ups Bid for Avon with Backing from Buffett

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