Pierre Fabre in Share Transfer

Founder of Pierre Fabre SA is taking steps to keep the firm private.

PARIS — Pierre Fabre, founder, president and chief executive officer of Pierre Fabre SA, is taking steps to keep the company private.

This story first appeared in the September 8, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Fabre plans to transfer — through the holding company Pierre Fabre Participation — 60 percent of his 89 percent stake in the dermo-cosmetics and pharmaceutical firm that generates 1.7 billion euros, or $2.4 billion at current exchange, annually, to the Pierre Fabre Foundation. That entity currently holds a 5 percent stake in Pierre Fabre SA.

If the French government gives the green light to the transaction, the foundation would hold a 65 percent part of Pierre Fabre SA, while Fabre himself would own 29 percent and the company’s personnel would retain 6 percent.

“The aim of this operation is to secure the long-term independence of Pierre Fabre,” the Castres, France-based firm stated.

In the meantime, Fabre intends to put Pierre Fabre SA under a newly created supervisory committee, which he would chair. Fabre has also hired Jean-Pierre Garnier, formerly ceo of GlaxoSmithKline, as head of Pierre Fabre SA’s management board.

“We are fortunate to have a man with so much experience in the global pharmaceutics arena in the person of Jean-Pierre Garnier, who will enable us to successfully sustain the considerable R&D efforts the company has been making over the past few years and amplify its growth,” stated Fabre.

One-quarter of the company’s sales are invested in research and development.