Byline: Andrea M. Grossman

NEW YORK — As discussions continue between L’Oreal USA Inc. and the Department of Justice concerning the proposed acquisition of ethnic HBA supplier Carson Inc., L’Oreal has extended by six days the expiration date for its cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of Carson common stock.
The new tender offer deadline, at $5.20 net per share, is July 31 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
A L’Oreal spokeswoman said the recent extension marks the seventh time L’Oreal has pushed back the tender offer since it first announced its intent to acquire Carson on Feb. 28. The acquisition, estimated to be worth about $250 million, has raised monopoly concerns by the Department of Justice.
As previously reported, L’Oreal still is providing information to justify the deal.
Savannah, Georgia-based Carson is the largest worldwide ethnic HBA supplier, with sales of approximately $176 million under brands such as Dark & Lovely, Gentle Treatment, Magic Shave and Ultra Sheen. L’Oreal’s existing ethnic portfolio includes Soft Sheen, maker of the Optimum and Baby Love brands, which it acquired in July 1998. Soft Sheen is reportedly the number two marketer of ethnic products, with 1999 sales nearing $100 million.
The L’Oreal spokeswoman said a tender offer will remain open until the Department of Justice approves the acquisition.

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