Beauty Firm Coty Makes Paris Debut After $356 Million Offering

Beauty Firm Coty Makes Paris Debut After $356 Million Offering
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 02: *Exclusive* Beyonce attends Beyonce's First Fragrance Launch Event for "Beyonce Heat" - Catch the Fever at 15 Union Square West on February 2, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Coty)

US beauty and fragrance company Coty Inc. raised $356 million as part of a second listing on Euronext Paris, in a welcome boost for a European market grappling with homegrown firms moving across the Atlantic. 

Coty shares started trading in Paris at €10.48 apiece, after its additional offering of 33 million shares.

The company’s New York-listed shares were mostly flat at the open, after the new stock was priced at a 2% discount to Wednesday’s close.

“It’s trading flat, but we’re clearly not in the golden hour for a listing,” said Jie Zhang, who covers luxury stocks for AlphaValue in Paris. “Nonetheless, the decision to go back to Paris is very attractive and will increase the interest of European investors for luxury and perfume stocks.”

Paris’s appeal for Coty lies in its developing role as a global center for luxury stocks. Some of the largest companies in this sector, including LVMH, L’Oreal SA, Hermes International and Kering SA, are traded on Euronext Paris, creating an ecosystem of analysts and investors with deep knowledge of the industry.

Coty has in recent months “been able to attract leading investors, particularly in France and throughout Europe,” Chief Financial Officer Laurent Mercier said in written comments. This will help the company to “ensure real liquidity in Paris” and also diversify its shareholder base, he said.

Demand for Coty’s offering “significantly” exceeded the size of the share sale, according to Mercier.

Coty’s ties to France date back to 1904, when it was founded in Paris. The cosmetics company has called its move a return to “the historic home of beauty.”

The company plans to use proceeds from the share sale to pay down debt and fund general corporate purposes, including strategic investments in its business, working capital and capital expenditures.

BNP Paribas SA, Credit Agricole SA, Citigroup Inc. and Banco Santander SA are joint global coordinators on the offering.


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