By  on November 29, 2007

PARIS — The Courtin-Clarins family repeated Wednesday its unwillingness to cede control of Groupe Clarins and it has been approached by various cosmetics companies."Following persistent rumors concerning Clarins' stock, we should like to reiterate that the Courtin-Clarins family, the group's majority shareholder, is not considering handing over control of the company," Christian Courtin-Clarins, the firm's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. (The Courtin-Clarins clan boasts 65.1 percent of the beauty company's capital and 78.6 percent of its voting rights.)"Having established this, it is a fact that numerous contacts have been made with several players of the cosmetics industry in relation to the external growth policy that Clarins has never made a mystery of," he added. "To this date there exists no element of a nature to be made public."Courtin-Clarins' words come as a mantra. As recently as last week, he was reported as explaining, "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."Yet nowhere in the statement Wednesday does Courtin-Clarins respond directly to widespread reports that Clarins could have entered into exclusive negotiations with PPR. According to these speculative reports, PPR could offer its beauty division, YSL Beauté, to Clarins in return for up to a 30 percent stake in the company — and even a right of first refusal if the company is eventually sold. Clarins executives could not be reached for further comment, as they are in Macau, China, on business. A PPR spokeswoman would not comment on any speculation.Clarins' stock price closed down 1.52 percent to a unit price of 58 euros, or $85.69 at current exchange, on the Paris Bourse Wednesday. PPR's stock price rose 2.4 percent to 113.29 euros, or $167.37.

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