Business

Coty withdraws $10.7bn bid for Avon

Beyonce Knowles
Image caption Coty is the company behind celebrity perfumes including Beyonce Knowles' Pulse

Fragrance firm Coty has withdrawn its $10.7bn (£6.6bn) bid for Avon Products, saying the US beauty firm had taken too long to respond to its offer.

Coty raised its bid, first made in March, last week, but warned that it would withdraw if it did not receive a response by Monday night.

"Two months is enough," said Coty chairman Bart Becht.

Coty is behind perfumes for Lady Gaga, David and Victoria Beckham, Beyonce Knowles, and other celebrities.

Avon is best known for its beauty products sold door-to-door, by women popularly known as Avon ladies.

But the company has suffered a big decline in sales and profits, and its share price had fallen heavily before the Coty offer.

In a letter to Avon on Monday, Mr Becht said: "Your total lack of engagement with us leads us to believe that you remain reluctant to explore a friendly, negotiated combination on a reasonable timetable.

"Consequently, as our deadline to begin discussions expired today, our proposal is withdrawn."

Last week, Coty raised its bid price by about 6.5% to $24.75 per share, valuing Avon at almost $10.7bn. It wanted a response by Monday, but on Sunday Avon executives asked for a week to consider the bid.

New Avon chief executive Sheri McCoy took the reins last month, and said her first priority was to stabilise the business.

Avon has suffered from fierce competition in the US and disruptions to its ordering systems in Brazil, the company's biggest market.

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