Douglas Said to Be Final Bidder for Sephora Rival Nocibe

Douglas Holding AG, the German cosmetics retailer owned by Advent International Corp., is the final bidder for French perfume and cosmetics retailer Nocibe SA from Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP, according to people with knowledge of the process.

Nocibe, a competitor of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA’s unit Sephora, may be valued at about 500 million euros ($650 million), said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. LBO France has yet to submit a final offer, although it may still do so, another person said.

Advent bid 1.5 billion euros for Douglas, based in the Ruhr Valley town of Hagen, last year after almost a year of talks. Douglas board member Manfred Kroneder told journalists at a press conference in Frankfurt on June 25 that the company wants to become leader in core European markets and plans to expand through “targeted acquisitions.” Douglas said it was making as much as 500 million euros available to grow its perfumeries business.

Charterhouse is weighing a refinancing of Nocibe debt and may decide to hold onto the company rather than sell it, one of the people said. Charterhouse bought Nocibe from Bridgepoint Advisers Ltd. in 2006 for 490 million euros, according to its website, and has sought a valuation of about 600 million euros for the asset, people familiar with the process said in January.

Officials at Advent, Douglas, LBO France and Charterhouse declined to comment.

Nocibe, based in Villeneuve d’Ascq near Lille in France, was created in 1984. The company sells its own beauty products as well as others such as La Petite Robe Noire fragrance by Guerlain and Tommy Guns shampoo. Nocibe also offers beauty services such as facials and make-up courses. The company has about 450 outlets in France and employs about 3,000 people, according to its website. It had sales of 680 million euros in 2012, the website shows.