BERLIN — Wella was back in the financial news this week.
Rumors that Wella’s majority shareholders, the Ströher family, might be reconsidering their position on the possible sale of the German hair and cosmetics company briefly boosted Wella share prices more than 5 percent Monday. On Tuesday, the stock closed down 1.4 percent in Frankfurt at $62.85 a common share. All dollar figures are calculated from the euro at current exchange rates.
Reports in the financial press suggested that the Ströher family, previously divided on the advisability of a sale, were "moving towards selling it amid signs of interest from Procter & Gamble, Unilever and L’Oréal." A Wella spokesman responded: "We’re familiar with this speculation from the past and the present, but we do not comment on speculation."
Last October, Wella reportedly turned down an informal $5.7 billion offer from Henkel on the grounds that it was too low. (Wella’s current market value is about $4 billion.) The company officially denied having received any offer from Henkel. At that time, sources said parties within the Ströher family were against a sale on principle.
One analyst told WWD it "could be true" that the Ströhers were having a change of heart. She suggested that Wella’s management probably didn’t receive an offer from Henkel, whereas the family may very well have. But the fact that Wella’s management stated "in October that they had not received a bid from Henkel…was a way of signalling to the market that they are open to options, including selling the company."
However, German companies, especially family-owned ones, are extremely slow, she noted, and so this new rumor "doesn’t necessarily mean that anything will happen quickly." Also, she pointed out that the presumed source, so-called "Branchenkreisen" or industry circles, are notoriously unreliable. "Since no one really is close to the family, many things can be made up that are not necessarily true," she concluded.
@deciem is all about transparency and approachability. At this year’s WWD Digital Beauty Forum, the brand's co-CEO @nicolakilner said talking to customers directly about the ingredients in products and how they work is key. #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty
‘We didn't know how relevant our film would be when we were making it. When Steven [Rogers] wrote the script Trump wasn't president, class divide in America wasn't as evident as it is now, though it was present. The Time’s Up movement hadn't began and the way we look at women and treat women who speak out — thankfully that is something that seems to have shifted in the last year. I think we just need to continue making art that provokes the conversation and do what we can,’ said ‘I, Tonya’ actress @margotrobbie. Head to WWD.com to see all the celebrities who walked the red carpet @bafta #timesup #wwdeye (📸: Neil Hall)
Gemma Arterton is joined on the @bafta’s red carpet by Eileen Pullen and Gwen Davis, the two women who started the fight for the pay-gap. ‘They represent a normal person speaking out for what is right. Speak out, we will listen and anyone can speak out,’ said Arterton. #eebaftas #timesup #wwdeye (📸: David Fisher)