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Coty Said to Be Close to Buying Nail-Polish Maker OPI

Coty Said to Be Close to Buying Nail-Polish Maker OPI
Sarah Jessica Parker launches her perfume 'Covet' in the Champs-Elysees. Photographer: Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images

Coty Inc., the seller of perfumes by Sarah Jessica Parker and Vera Wang, is close to buying nail-care company OPI Products Inc. for about $1 billion in cash, said two people with knowledge of the situation.

The two closely held companies may announce the deal by today, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Private-equity firms Bain Capital LLC and Advent International Corp. were among the companies that also made bids, people close to the situation said last month.

OPI, founded almost three decades ago by Chief Executive Officer George Schaeffer, sells polish used in nail salons, hand-and-foot care products and body lotion. Coty has bolstered its cosmetics business with acquisitions this month, agreeing to buy skin-care maker Philosophy and Dr. Scheller Cosmetics AG.

Cysette Burset, a spokeswoman for New York-based Coty, wasn’t reachable for comment, nor was Harris Shepard, a representative for OPI, which is based in North Hollywood, California.

Moelis & Co. served as financial adviser to Coty, while Lazard Ltd. advised OPI. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP provided legal counsel to Coty and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom did the same for OPI.

Coty agreed to buy Philosophy on Nov. 23 from private-equity firm Carlyle Group, without disclosing the terms. Less than two weeks before that, Coty said it agreed to buy Dr. Scheller Cosmetics AG from Russia’s OAO Concern Kalina. It also purchased Unilever Cosmetics International in 2005 for 632.6 million euros ($860.6 million).

Financial Performance

OPI has annual sales of about $300 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about $80 million, the people said last month. The company is seeking 11 to 12 times its earnings for the sale, they said.

Coty distributes perfumes such as “Lovely” from Parker, star of “Sex and the City,” and “Princess” from designer Wang.

A purchase of OPI would be at least the second acquisition of a nail-care company this year. In April, L’Oreal SA agreed to buy Essie Cosmetics to expand in the nail color market in the U.S. Terms weren’t disclosed.

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