Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

L'Oreal Takeover Would Be Studied Carefully, French PM Says

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said any takeover of cosmetics maker L’Oreal SA would be watched carefully by the government though the company isn’t necessarily a strategic asset.

“I’d be obviously very careful,” Philippe said when asked about the possibility of a foreign takeover on France 2 television.

L’Oreal SA shares rose last week on speculation that the death of the founding family’s heiress, Liliane Bettencourt, could clear up the cosmetics maker’s ownership through a takeover or a buyback.

Bettencourt’s death raises questions about the stake Nestle SA has held in the French company for more than four decades. Her passing makes it more likely that the Swiss food giant will someday sell that 23 percent holding, worth about $28 billion, to L’Oreal, according to analysts. Another possibility is that L’Oreal attracts a takeover bid.

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