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Revlon Plans to Approach Potential Bidders Next Month

Aug. 27, 2019
Challenged by smaller businesses with social-media fueled profits, the makeup company is set to seek a buyer to revamp its sales.

Revlon Inc. is set to begin a formal marketing process after Labor Day as it seeks to secure a buyer that will help turn around the company without taking it private, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The cosmetics giant is exploring a sale of the entire company or its major brands, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter is private. It isn’t interested in selling its smaller brands piecemeal, they said.

Revlon will start reaching out after the Labor Day holiday weekend in the U.S. to parties that have expressed interest, the people said. No final decisions have been made and a deal may not be reached, they said. Revlon rose 1% to $16.31 at 10:14 a.m. in New York trading Tuesday, giving the company a market value of about $865 million. The stock rose as high as 4.2% before settling lower.

Revlon’s majority owner, MacAndrews & Forbes Inc., isn’t considering taking the company private, one of the people said. It could appeal to suitors that operate inside and outside the beauty industry, this person said.

Formal talks with potential buyers and counterparties will proceed with the help of Revlon’s financial adviser Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the people said.

Representatives from Revlon, Goldman and MacAndrews declined to comment.

MacAndrews, backed by billionaire Ronald Perelman, seeks to turn around the cosmetics business as it struggles to stem falling sales amid competition from Estee Lauder and a host of smaller companies that have tapped social media to rapidly gain prominence.

Revlon is hoping to capitalize on global expansion in beauty, fueled by high-profile celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Lady Gaga.

Last year, beauty-product sales including color cosmetics, fragrances, hair care and skin care grew 5.9% to $302 billion globally, according to a June report by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Beauty product sales in China are forecast to surpass the U.S. by 2023, JPMorgan said in the report, citing Euromonitor International.

Revlon has more than 15 brands, including Elizabeth Arden and Elizabeth Taylor, that it markets in more than 150 countries. Arden showed some signs of a turnaround, reporting a 11% sales increase in the second quarter, driven by higher sales of its skin care products.

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