Nordic cosmetic player mulls IPO

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Baltic sea Estonia Us

With a number of companies said to be interested in buying up the
company, an executive of Finland-based Lumene Cosmetics says that a
stock market listing could be a strong possibility, as the company
continues to see strong growth on the back of continued interest in
natural-based cosmetics.

Lars Hagelstam, a representative from Capman, a company with a majority investment stake in the company, told Reuters that a debut on the stock exchange was a real possible at some point in the future.

The comments were also backed up by Lumene Group CEO Tapio Pajuharju,swho said that a listing was 'a real possibility'.

The company specialixes in cosmetic and hygiene products for both men and women made from ingredients that are largely sourced from both Finland and the surrounding Nordic countries.

It employs 1,000 people and currently counts Russia, the US and the Baltic countries as its main export markets. But plans are afoot to expand the company's lines into new markets as part of plans to rapidly globalise its product portfolio.

In particular it has been widening its reach in the worlds largest cosmetic market, the US, in the last few years. This was brought about through an agreement to supply its products with the national CVS drug store chain, a deal that was established in 2003.

The group, which is expecting to boost its sales from Euros 136m to Euros 150m this year, could be a possible buy-out for any one of the major global cosmetics players.

Currently L'Oreal, Beiersdorf and P&G are all acquisitive - all looking for bolt on companies that could bring added value in new or niche categories where these players are not already represented.

It also represents one of the few areas where the major players can still find opportunities for growth, something that all of these players have found increasingly hard to find as developed markets such as Europe and the US become increasingly saturated.

In March of this year L'Oreal went ahead with the acquisition of the UK-based Body Shop, paying £652m for a company that it hopes will lend it more of an ethical and naturals-based dimension.

This, many industry observers believe, is likely to spell the pattern of things to come, in turn leading to significant activity in the near future, as and when opportunities arise.

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