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Nestle looking at options to reduce L'Oreal stake: Bloomberg

Published on Feb 9, 2014 12:56 AM

ZURICH (REUTERS) - Nestle, the world's biggest food company, is looking at ways to reduce its US$30 billion stake (S$38 billion) in cosmetics firm L'Oreal, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

Nestle has told L'Oreal of its intentions, and the two companies have discussed the issue with banks, though no decision over the possible timing of any sale, which could take years, has been made, the report said.

Nestle is under pressure to make its intentions clear towards the cosmetics firm, its partner of 40 years, when the ties that bind them loosen in April.

The Swiss company owns a 29.5 per cent stake in L'Oreal and the expiry of a 10-year right of first refusal agreement with the Bettencourt family in April should make it easier for Nestle to sell, though it has no urgent need to do so.

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