Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Germany's Douglas hunts more deals after buying French perfume chain

* Nocibe deal set to close in first half of 2014

* Douglas sees attractive growth for perfume sales

Nov 19 (Reuters) - German books-to-cosmetics retailer Douglas Holding aims to complete its purchase of French perfumery chain Nocibe in the first half of next year and is on the prowl for more acquisitions, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Douglas, which was taken private by investor Advent and the Kreke family this year, is aiming to become Europe's top perfumes retailer as it seeks stronger growth than that it believes is achievable in confectionery, jewellery or books.

"We want to extend our growth through acquisitions, also in Germany," CEO Henning Kreke told a news conference, adding that Douglas is looking for family-run firms.

Douglas announced last month that it was in exclusive talks to buy Nocibe from private equity firm Charterhouse Capital.

Kreke said on Tuesday that Douglas intends to close the deal in the first half of 2014 once it gains approval from the French cartel authorities and labour representatives.

With a combined 625 stores and 4,000 employees, the purchase of Nocibe would make Douglas the second-largest perfumery chain in France in terms of revenue, behind LVMH's Sephora and ahead of Marionnaud. (Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Emma Thomasson; Editing by David Goodman)

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