Procter & Gamble, long in search of a fix for its craving to acquire a major European cosmetics operation, is poised to win German hair care giant Wella for a sum in the region of $5.9 billion (€5.56bn; £3.76bn).

The flirtation has been public knowledge for several months, although the dalliance moved into the heavy breathing stage only two weeks ago [WAMN: 03-Mar-03]. A done deal is expected to be announced this week – most likely today, Tuesday, when P&G’s chief executive officer Alan G Lafley addresses an investor conference in New York

Meantime, neither groom nor bride will discuss, even admit to, their imminent nuptials.

Few believe that P&G – a leading proponent of the ‘size matters’ creed – will assuage its craving until it achieves its ambition of ousting Paris-headquartered L’Oreal as the planet’s largest beauty company.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff