By  on December 12, 2008

PARIS — Might Nestlé acquire L’Oréal in 2009?

Today, the Swiss food group has a 28.9 percent stake in the French beauty giant, which is also 30 percent owned by Liliane Bettencourt, the 86-year-old daughter of L’Oréal’s founder, Eugene Schueller. Under terms of the current shareholder agreement, Nestlé is free to sell its holding in L’Oréal starting April 29, 2009, but cannot take a majority share in the firm unless Bettencourt passes away earlier, and, in that case, only six months after. Post-April 29, 2009, Nestlé does not have the right to acquire L’Oréal unless she gives her approval, and that six-month grace period remains in the event of her death.

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