At least three private equity firms have looked into taking charm maker Pandora private, according to a report in Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.
“American giant KKR [and] other private equity companies such as Bain Capital and Carlyle have examined [Pandora’s] dossier,” the newspaper said. “[Pandora] is a perfect target for private equity companies interested in re-launching a company in temporary crisis.”
The report also speculated that the company might become a magnet for activist shareholders.
The newspaper did not cite any sources, even unnamed ones, for its assertion. However, despite its not-particularly-clear sourcing, the report seemingly caused the company’s stock price to leap 10 percent yesterday.
Pandora spokesperson Johan Melchior tells JCK that “as a general principle, we do not comment on rumors.
“As I understand the story in Italian media, it is about some private equity funds looking at Pandora,” he said. “Obviously, you will need to ask them about that. If we were to receive a bid, we would follow the rules and requirements for how listed companies must disclose such matters to the stock market.”
Inquiries to KKR and Carlyle were not returned at press time. Bain Capital declined comment.
Pandora went public in 2010 in a $1.8 billion IPO. But since then its stock has had a tougher time charming investors.
Last month, Anders Colding Friis, its CEO since 2015, resigned after the company lowered its annual guidance, sparking a dramatic fall in its stock.
At press time, the jewelry company has yet to name a successor to Friis, although it is being run on an interim basis by chief financial officer Anders Boyer and chief operating officer Jeremy Schwartz—both of whom have been in their positions for less than a few weeks. Boyer is a longtime member of the Pandora board, and Schwartz is the former CEO of the Body Shop.
Following Friis’ resignation, Bloomberg asked him in a live TV interview whether Pandora was now vulnerable to a takeover.
He didn’t respond directly, but said, “Clearly, it gives some uncertainty when you have some change in a position like mine.”
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