Coty’s Offer to Buy Avon Products for $10 billion

Coty Inc., a European perfume company that has made fragrances for Madonna and Beyonce, offered to buy Avon products Inc. for about $10 billion. 

But the Coty’s offer was refused today by the cosmetic direct seller, which is known in the U.S. for its “Avon Ladies” who sell products door to door to friend and family. 

The perfume company offered 23.49 a share, a 20 percent premium over Avon’s Friday closing price of $19.36 on the New York Stock Exchange. 

“We do not understand how your Board’s unwillingness to discuss our proposal can serve the best interests of Avon’s shareholders,” Coty Chairman and former chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser Bart Becht said in a letter that will be sent toAvonchief executive Andrea Jung on Monday. 

Avonrejected Coty’s offer in a separate statement today, saying a deal wouldn’t be in the best interests of shareholders. 

The company needs for a new chief executive to replace Ms. Jung after slowing sales and internal probes prompted a 40 percent drop in its shares last year, according to sources. 

Coty, which is known for its fragrances and nail products, got 57 percent of its $4.1 billion in sales in fiscal 2011 from perfumes. 

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