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Business

US investor sets its sights on German perfume retailer

A US private equity group is aiming to take over Germany's biggest perfume retailer which also happens to trade in books, jewelry and sweets. The move aims to pave the way for further expansion.

Private equity group Advent International of the United States announced on Monday it had teamed up with the founders of German perfume retailer Douglas to launch a 1 billion euro ($1.9 billion) takeover of the company.

Advent reported it was offering 38 euros apiece for all outstanding shares in the publicly-listed retailer which also runs Thalia book stores as well as Christ jewelry and Hussel chocolate shops.

"This takeover offer is based on the mutual intent of the Douglas founders to fine-tune and implement a successful long strategy for the group," Advent said in a statement.

Market impact

With close to 40 million shares in issues, Douglas would have a market value of almost 1.5 billion euros after the takeover. Advent said it already had assurances for a little over 50 percent of the company's share capital and was aiming to get hold of at least 75 percent in the process.

Douglas shares jumped more than 8 percent on Monday's takeover news, making them the most successful stock in Germany's MDAX index.

The retailer currently logs annual sales of more than 3 billion euros and has a network of almost 2,000 stores across Europe. Douglas employs 24,000 workers.

hg/ dr (Reuters, AFP, dpa)