PARIS — Shares of Groupe Clarins lost ground late last week amid reports that the company would not be exploring a sale.
On Thursday, Groupe Clarins stock price dropped 7.4 percent to 57.99 euros, or $86.10, versus Wednesday's close. However, shares rebounded somewhat on Friday, inching up 1.25 percent to close at 58.72 euros, or $87.05. Currencies were converted using the average exchange rates for Thursday and Friday respectively.
"All of the groups are interested in Clarins; they have all made propositions, but liberty does not have a price. We remain our own masters," said Christian Courtin-Clarins, Clarins' president and chief executive officer, in an article appearing in French daily newspaper Le Figaro on Thursday. Courtin-Clarins reportedly did not deny his readiness to welcome investors into his company if they remain minority shareholders and he and his brother Olivier, who is currently vice president of research and development, maintain control over the firm's board. Courtin-Clarins said he is not going to allow someone "to put a foot in the door, a fox to mind the geese."
The company has been ample fodder for the rumor mill of late. The company's stock price has been on an upward trajectory, thanks to conjecture that it would be acquired by the likes of L'Oréal, Procter & Gamble Co., The Estée Lauder Cos., Shiseido or Beiersdorf AG following the death of its founder Jacques Courtin-Clarins earlier this year. Last Monday, Clarins' stock price closed up 8 percent to 64.71 euros, or $95.95, due to the resurgence of speculation that PPR could take over Clarins.
The Courtin-Clarins family has steadfastly maintained in the past that the company is not for sale. — Jennifer Weil
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