BENCKISER WILL RAISE BID IN CONTEST FOR MAYBELLINE
NEW YORK — The bidding war for Maybelline is heating up. The U.S. cosmetics firm said Friday that Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH said in a letter that it is prepared to top L’Oreal SA’s latest bid of $41 a share.
Benckiser also called for a final round of bidding between itself and L’Oreal. The higher Benckiser bid is dependent on two conditions: First, that the bid not be used as a wedge to attract higher bids.
Second, that Maybelline not sell more shares to L’Oreal other than the 30 percent that L’Oreal could pick up from its Wasserstein Perrella & Co. option.
The W&P stock would give L’Oreal only 30 percent of the company, leaving 70 percent for Benckiser, a Benckiser spokeswoman said. The German cosmetics firm added that its legal and financial advisers are prepared to meet with Maybelline.
As reported, L’Oreal raised its offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Maybelline to about $570 million, or $41 a share, after the rival Benckiser offered $37 a share.
In December, L’Oreal agreed with Wasserstein Perrella to purchase Maybelline for $508 million, or $36.75 a share. The offer is to expire Feb. 1. Maybelline stock rose 2 1/2 to 44 7/8 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.