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P&G, Wella Deal May Aid Tchibo’s Beiersdorf Play

BERLIN — Tchibo’s chances of evolving from a minority to a majority shareholder in Beiersdorf may have vastly improved in the wake of Procter & Gamble’s successful bid for Wella. <br><br>German financial circles speculated Wednesday...

BERLIN — Tchibo’s chances of evolving from a minority to a majority shareholder in Beiersdorf may have vastly improved in the wake of Procter & Gamble’s successful bid for Wella.

German financial circles speculated Wednesday that Allianz, Beiersdorf’s majority shareholder, may be warming up to an offer from Tchibo. That speculation was strengthened by Allianz chief financial officer Paul Achleitner’s statement Tuesday that “should a decent offer be placed on the table, we’d be ready to sell.” More light may be shed on the situation today, when the Munich-based insurer and financial services company holds its annual press conference.

Allianz has been shopping around its 43.6 percent stake in Beiersdorf for the last two years. The financial services company is under considerable financial pressure due to its poorly performing Dresdner Bank subsidiary.

It’s well known that Tchibo wants to add to its 30 percent Beiersdorf stake, but the German coffee and retail concern couldn’t compete with the bidding power of industry heavyweights L’Oréal and P&G.

But both P&G and L’Oréal now appear to be out of the running. Most observers suggest that P&G’s Wella deal places it out of further bidding action for the present time and L’Oréal has apparently lost interest, due to the obstacle of Tchibo’s blocking minority, as well as possible antitrust hurdles.