Henkel challenges Coty's Brazil purchase before antitrust watchdog

martes 22 de diciembre de 2015 16:36 GYT

By Tatiana Bautzer

SAO PAULO Dec 22 (Reuters) - Germany's Henkel & Co KGAa AG filed on Tuesday a request with Brazilian antitrust regulators to review a decision to approve Coty Inc's purchase last month of Hypermarcas SA's beauty care unit.

Henkel is challenging a Dec. 7 decision by antitrust watchdog Cade to approve Coty's acquisition with no conditions of dozens of brands and several factories that Hypermarcas owned.

In a document, Brazilian law firm Levy Salomão, which represents Henkel in the matter, said Cade failed to consider the combined impact of the Hypermarcas deal with Coty's recent acquisition of Procter & Gamble Co's beauty care products.

Both transactions would allegedly give Coty as much as a 35 percent market share in Brazil's hair coloring market, the document said.

Coty agreed in July to pay P&G $12.5 billion for 43 brands, and also offered in November about $1 billion to buy Hypermarcas's beauty care unit.

"The combined effect of these transactions will substantially change the Brazilian cosmetics and personal care industries", the document said.

The petition will be analyzed by Cade councilor João Paulo Resende. Should he find Henkel's petition valid, the request will be analyzed and discussed by Cade's board of councilors.

Henkel challenged Cade's initial approval since the former was found to be an interested third party in the transaction. Henkel competed for the Hypermarcas and P&G deals, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

Coty and Hypermarcas did not comment on the matter, while Henkel's law firm in Brazil did not return calls or messages seeking comment on the petition.

Hypermarcas fell 2 percent to 21.21 reais on Tuesday. Coty shed 2.7 percent to $26.25, while Henkel fell 0.3 percent to 100.50 euros. (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Alan Crosby)