Rumours continue this week surrounding the possible takeover of Germany's Beiersdorf, the maker of Nivea handcreams. Possible contenders for the move include consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble and a consortium headed by German compatriot Tchibo, a coffee company.
Industry insiders suggest that, in addition to Tchibo, the consortium may consist of the German bank HSH Nordbank, Beiersdorf itself and private investors.
Tchibo, which already owns approximately 30 per cent of Beiersdorf, announced its intention this week to counter any potential offer from P&G in order to reduce the chances of success of any takeover bid, citing concerns that a takeover by P&G could result in the splitting up of the company and the loss of thousands of jobs.
The rumours of a takeover bid from P&G began earlier this month when the company's chief executive Alan Lafley described Beiersdorf as 'very attractive' in an interview with Der Speigel magazine. However he also stressed at the time that Cincinnati-based P&G was not interested in a hostile takeover.
According to the Associated Press, Tchibo has emerged as the favourite to gain control of Beiersdorf after Hamburg officials revealed on Monday that they were involved in talks with local investors about a deal to keep Beiersdorf's headquarters in the city.