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Exclusive: Henkel, Revlon, Coty prepare bids for P&G beauty brands -sources

Boxes of Tide detergent, a Procter & Gamble product, sit on a shelf at a store in Alexandria, May 28, 2009. REUTERS/Molly Riley

By Olivia Oran, Arno Schuetze and Martinne Geller

(Reuters) - Personal care and cosmetics companies Henkel & Co KGaA AG, Revlon Inc and Coty Inc are preparing bids for parts of Procter & Gamble Co's beauty business, according to sources.

The three companies are working with investment banks ahead of a first-round bid deadline set for next week, the sources said on Wednesday. A successful sale would allow P&G to focus on more profitable consumer brands such as its Gillette razors, Tide detergent and Pampers disposable diapers.

Henkel is interested in buying P&G's haircare business, which includes the Wella and Clairol brands, the sources said, declining to be named because the matter is private. The haircare business is worth about $7 billion based on annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around $500 million, the sources said.

Revlon, the owner of makeup brands such as Almay, is eyeing P&G's cosmetics business, which includes drugstore brands CoverGirl and Max Factor. That business has annual EBITDA of around $350 million, the people said.

Coty, which makes perfume for fashion brands Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs and owns nail polish brand OPI and Rimmel mascara, is likely interested in P&G's fragrance unit, though it could also look at buying P&G's cosmetics business as well, the sources said.

P&G's fragrance unit includes brands such as Hugo Boss and Gucci and has EBITDA of around $250 million, they said.

It remains unclear whether P&G will try to sell its brands as part of a package, whose value could range from $10 billion to $12 billion, or piecemeal. P&G could also decide to scrap the sale entirely and instead look to spin off the unit, the sources added.

Representatives for P&G and Revlon declined to comment. Coty and Henkel did not respond to requests for comment.

P&G is looking to sell some of its beauty brands as part of a cost-cutting strategy by Chief Executive Officer A.G. Lafley. Lafley said in August he would reverse the Cincinnati-based company's strategy of aggressive expansion and shed more than half its brands.

P&G said it would concentrate on 70 to 80 brands that have accounted for 90 percent of its sales over the past three years.

P&G has already divested some of its non-core brands. Last year, the company sold its Duracell battery brand to Berkshire Hathaway Inc for $4.7 billion in stock and also sold some of its soap brands to Unilever PLC.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York, Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt and Martinne Geller in London; Additional reporting by Freya Berry in London; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman)