Kao aiming to buy UK's Molton Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Personal care, United kingdom

Japan's largest household and personal care producer, Kao, says it
is in talks to buy the UK's Molton Brown, a producer of luxury
cosmetics and accessories, reports Simon Pitman.

In an official statement released through the Tokyo Stock Exchange Kao said: "We will make a further announcement on the matter as early as possible if we make progress on the negotiations."

According to a report in the Financial Times, Kao​ is prepared to pay £170 million ($246m) for the company, which sells its products in 70 countries and has annual sales of £45 million.

The report also said that Japanese executives had been planning to fly to the UK to discuss the deal with financial brokers, but that the trip had been delayed.

Molton Brown​ describes itself as a modern luxury goods company, but has evolved with a focus on up-market personal care products. Established in London in 1973, the company has an extensive range of hand, body care, men's grooming hair care and general skin care products, combined with beauty brushes, leather bags and home ambience products.

As well as developing its product portfolio, the company has also widened its business portfolio having more recently expanded into spa resorts as well as a range of personal care products specially designed for hotels.

The company also has a comprehensive retail network that includes 14 stores in London, together with a further a further 23 stores in other locations in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East.

Kao is currently on the acquisition trail and is actively seeking to bid for floundering personal care and consumer products producer Kanebo​.

Kanebo is currently under the guidance of government financial watchdog IRCJ, a government body that is seeking to ensure the company secures a reputable future, following the accumulation of JPY682 billion (€5bn) in debt.

Ten companies are reported to be in the bidding to buy shares in Kanebo, including Ezaki Glico.

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