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Henkel, KKR Said Final Bidders for Coty Assets

The bidding process is winding down as Coty readies to onboard a new ceo.

Henkel and private equity firm KKR are still in the running to buy Coty’s Professional Division, a source has told WWD.

Calls were said to be placed back to bidding companies on Monday, another source noted. Updates on the bidding process were first reported by Bloomberg. KKR declined to comment for this story.

Coty is selling its Professional Division, which includes Wella, Ghd, Clairol and other brands, as well as the Brazilian operations, as it looks to restructure the business and pay down debt. Sources have said the business could sell for around $8 billion.

The sale has attracted a lot of big-name private equity firms — including Carlyle, Bain, Advent and Cinven — the first source noted, adding that those firms had since dropped out from the process. Henkel is said to have been interested in some of the assets Coty owns, especially the hair businesses, for a while, sources have said.

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WWD reported that Coty was considering divesting assets last July, and Coty unveiled the plan to sell the professional and Brazilian businesses in October. Credit Suisse was tapped to explore options.

The sale comes as the current Coty management team works to reduce the company’s leverage before newly appointed chief executive officer Pierre Denis officially comes on board. Current ceo Pierre Laubies is viewed as the turnaround person, and will stay until the professional deal closes, at which point Denis will be tasked with growing revenue for the remaining business.

After the sale, Coty will still have its Consumer Division, which contains brands like Cover Girl and Max Factor, as well as the Luxury Division, which includes Gucci Beauty, Burberry, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs. The company also owns a 51 percent stake in Kylie Cosmetics, the beauty brand of Kylie Jenner.

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