Business

Avon shares seesaw on spurious reports of a takeover bid

Avon Image copyright Reuters

Trading in Avon Products was repeatedly halted earlier on Thursday after shares soared as much as 20% in New York.

Reports of an $8bn (£5.1bn) takeover offer - three times its market value - from a firm called "PTG Capital Partners" sent shares in the cosmetics firm on a wild ride.

But Avon said it had not received any offers.

Many on Wall Street doubt whether the firm exists at all, because of the mysterious filing filled with errors.

The document appearing on the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission includes such mistakes as a misspelling of PTG Capital Partners' own name.

There is a well known private equity firm called TPG Capital, and the filing appears to lift information from its website, even referring to the bidding firm as "TPG".

The contacts listed in the filing contain phone numbers that reach generic voicemail messages of the type not normally used by professional businesses.

Halts

The BBC's attempts to leave messages at PTG and the firm's supposed law firm, Trose & Cox, were unsuccessful.

Trading in Avon shares was halted three times on Thursday, because of the wild market action.

They climbed 6% higher at $7.07 in Thursday afternoon trading.

Shares of Avon had fallen more than 20% this year before Thursday's volatility.

The company reported an annual net loss last month.

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