Revlon’s majority owner Ronald Perelman is exploring strategic alternatives for the company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
That essentially puts a “for sale” sign on one of mass beauty’s top players. Shareholders approved of the move and pushed the stock up 10.9 percent to $27.91 in early trading on Wall Street. The shares hit a 10-year high of $41.20 on March 31, but have since traded down and closed at $24.50 on Wednesday, a one year low.
Perelman, however, owns 77.6 percent of the company through his MacAndrews & Forbes Inc. investment vehicle and would have considerable sway over any transaction. A would-be buyer for Revlon would need to be well funded. The company has a market capitalization of $1.46 billion and, including the face of its debt and its stock price, an enterprise value of $2.99 billion.
A banking source said Revlon is ripe for takeover by a private equity company that could seek to revitalize operations and than sell in a few years.
Revlon logged $471.5 million in sales for the third quarter, a slight decrease year-over-year from $472.3 million. Total company earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization tallied $81 million in the third quarter, up from $79.8 million, year-over-year.
The financier attempted to take Revlon private in 2009, but the deal failed and spurred a lawsuit with the SEC, which charged the company with violating federal securities laws and misleading shareholders during the deal. In 2013, Revlon agreed to pay an $850,000 fine.
In three decades with Revlon, chairman Perelman’s appointed eight ceos. The latest, Lorenzo Delpani, came on board in 2013 following Revlon’s $660 million acquisition of The Colomer Group, a beauty products company sold Revlon-branded products to salons, among other things. Delpani improved Colomer’s performance under private equity firm CVC Capital Partners before the firm sold it to Revlon.
Back in 2012, Perelman spoke with WWD about Revlon and categorized the business as “ready to grow through acquisition.” He also said at the time that he wasn’t thinking about taking the company private again. “At different times you think about different things. We’re not thinking about that now.”
He wouldn’t put a price on Revlon, at the time: “I’ve got a bunch of girls who have interest in the company. I love the company, but I love all of our companies. If I don’t love ’em, we don’t do well in them because there’s something about it that I’m not happy with or that’s gnawing at me or something that is structurally wrong and those we don’t deal with. But if I love the company, it’s like my little pet, you know?”