L’Oreal-Nestle ups Q-Med bid following shareholder rejection

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Stock market United states Stock

L’Oreal-Nestle is planning to improve on its initial bid for Swedish anti-ageing specialist Q-Med after shareholders rejected it last week.

According to ‘a person with knowledge of the matter’, L’Oreal-Nestle joint venture company Galderma now intends to raise its initial bid offer to SEK79 (€8.94) per share, up from an initial bid of SEK75 per share.

The initial offer, which valued the company at approximately €970m, fell well short of a target of 90 per cent shareholder acceptance, Galderma admitted.

Galderma bid hopes dashed

Galderma had high hopes for its bid offer after the biggest shareholder – Lyflet Holiding, which has a 47.5 per cent stake – had already said it would accept the share offer.

However, smaller investment groups – including Lannebo with an 8.3 per cent stake, Swedbank Rodbur with a 4.5 per cent stake and AMF with a 3.1 per cent stake – all rejected that bid offer last Friday.

While the bidding was under way last week, the company reported lower year-on-year fourth quarter profits, a result that analysts thought would strengthen the possibility that the bid offer from Galderma would be accepted by the executive board.

Restylane anti-wrinkle filler

The maker of anti-wrinkle skin care and filler brand Restylane reported fourth quarter pre-tax earnings down from SEK67m (€7.60m) in the fourth quarter ending December 2009, to SEK41m in the corresponding quarter for 2010.

In conjunction with the results, the company announced that it would have to up marketing efforts for the Restylane portfolio of products to remain competitive in a market where the number one rival is Allergen’s Botox brand.

Increasing competition in Latin America and Europe

Although the company underlined that it is experiencing significant growth in the Asia-Pacific markets, it also stressed that it was witnessing increased competition in both the Latin American and European markets.

“The increasing competition is natural. More players are attracted to this still relatively young and growing market as there are opportunities for profitable growth,”​ the Q Med executive board said in the official statement.

Efforts to maintain its market growth in the European and Latin American markets are expected to lead to a significant ramp up in its Restylane product line, combined with increased marketing expenses in an effort to maintain market share growth.

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