Henkel, P&G Square Up Over Wella Stake

16 April 2003

Having seen its advances to German haircare group Wella spurned in favour of Procter & Gamble, cosmetics giant Henkel is determined to make life for the happy couple as difficult as possible.

For Henkel, also from Germany, holds 7% of Wella, and wants to squeeze as much as it can out of P&G for that stake.

The US group has offered $99 (€92; £63) per ordinary share and $66 per preference share, but Henkel boss Ulrich Lehner wants the latter price to be raised nearer to the former.

Despite such tactics, Henkel cannot prevent Wella falling into P&G’s clutches. Nevertheless, Henkel has some leverage in the negotiations – were it to retain the stake, P&G could not delist its new acquisition and would have to report Wella’s results separately.

P&G insists its offer is “fair and attractive”. However, some analysts speculate Henkel may really be gunning for a piece of Wella’s haircare or fragrance business, or even part of P&G’s own portfolio, in return for the stake.

Data sourced from: AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff