Beiersdorf Shares Drop Most Since July as CEO’s Wife Sells Stake

Beiersdorf AG fell as much as 3 percent in Frankfurt trading, the most in almost seven months, after the wife of Chief Executive Officer Stefan Heidenreich sold her entire stake in the maker of Nivea skin cream.

Ellen-Brigitta Heidenreich sold 103,185 shares at 65.87 euros ($87.92) each on Feb. 15, raising 6.8 million euros, the Hamburg-based company said in a statement today.

“It’s a big amount,” Sebastian Frericks, an analyst at Bankhaus Metzler, said by phone. “Stefan Heidenreich is in for the long run, so it’s a bit surprising to see her sell her whole stake. It may signal the stock is a bit too expensive.”

Beiersdorf was down 2.4 percent at 64.20 euros as of 4:45 p.m. in Frankfurt, the steepest drop in the benchmark DAX Index.

The shares trade at almost 27 times estimated earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, compared with almost 22 times for French competitor L’Oreal SA and about 17 times for Unilever, the world’s second-biggest consumer-goods company.

Stefan Heidenreich, who joined Beiersdorf in January 2012, is instituting a program of product innovation, particularly in faster-growing emerging markets, to keep revenue growing as European consumers rein in spending amid the region’s debt crisis. The company last week reported the strongest sales growth since 2008, boosted by demand in Brazil and other emerging markets. Revenue rose 7.2 percent to a record 6.04 billion euros in 2012, it said.

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