Lampert's Hedge Fund Discloses Stakeholding in Avon

Billionaire Edward Lampert’s RBS Partners LP hedge fund has bought a stake in Avon Products Inc. (AVP), the cosmetics company that rejected a takeover offer from Coty Inc. (COTY) earlier this year.

RBS purchased 145,922 shares of Avon, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Avon, the world’s largest door-to-door seller, rebuffed a takeover bid from perfumer Coty earlier this year, saying it would concentrate on a turnaround under new Chief Executive Officer Sherilyn McCoy. T. Rowe Price Associates has the largest holding in Avon, with 7.9 percent, followed by Invesco Ltd. (IVZ) with 4.9 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Avon, based in New York, has posted three straight years of declining profits and earlier this month reported a 70 percent decline in second-quarter earnings amid a sales slump in Europe and China.

Lampert’s holding in Avon represents a 0.03 percent stake, data compiled by Bloomberg show. His fund’s stake in Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD), where Lampert is also chairman, was little changed compared with three months ago, according to the filing, with RBS Partners holding about 43 million shares.

RBS Partners, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, is a management entity for Lampert’s primary hedge fund, ESL Partners.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lauren Coleman-Lochner in New York at llochner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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