Coty Sells Partial Stake In Wella To KKR At 50% Valuation Premium

By Amit Chowdhry ● Oct 2, 2021
  • Coty Inc (NYSE: COTY) announced a definitive agreement to sell about a 9% stake in Wella to KKR. These are the details.

Coty Inc (NYSE: COTY) announced a definitive agreement to sell about a 9% stake in Wella to KKR in exchange for the redemption of approximately half of KKR’s remaining convertible preferred shares in Coty, reducing its total shareholding in the professional beauty company to approximately 30.6%. And the transaction reflects a 50% appreciation in Wella’s value since the closing of Coty’s 60% sale of Wella to KKR in December 2020, coinciding with the re-opening of global hair salons and the positive momentum in the Wella business.

As consideration for KKR’s purchase of shares in Wella from Coty, Coty is going to redeem approximately half of KKR’s outstanding convertible preferred shares and accrued dividends, or the equivalent of approximately 47 million shares of the company’s common stock for approximately 9% of Wella held by Coty in a transaction valued at approximately $426.5 million. And upon completion of the transaction, KKR will reduce its ownership to the equivalent of about 45 million Coty Class A shares, representing an approximate 5.2% stake in Coty.

The deal will simplify Coty’s capital structure and result in an additional approximately $26 million in annual dividend cash savings, totaling $52 million in annual cash savings when combined with the KKR secondary share offering that closed in September. And the deal will have additional accretive benefits to Coty through the reduction of its diluted share count. The implied value of Coty’s remaining approximate 30.6% stake in Wella is approximately $1.38 billion, compared to the $1.26 billion book value of its 40% stake as of June 30, 2021.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of Coty’s FY22.


“Our strategy for unlocking value expansion in Coty has remained consistent, anchored on three key objectives: accelerating our sales and profit growth, deleveraging our balance sheet, and simplifying our capital structure. Today’s announcement is a great step in advancing our balance sheet and capital structure objectives. With freed funds to drive growth and deleveraging, it is another milestone in transforming Coty into a beauty powerhouse.”

— Sue Y. Nabi, Coty’s Chief Executive Officer

“The value of Wella has increased significantly since we undertook our partial divestment in 2020 and KKR became our strategic partner in the Wella business. Today’s announcement is a testament of our initial investment strategy of capitalizing on the expected increase in Wella’s value over time to further our dual agenda of deleveraging and simplifying Coty’s capital structure, with the added benefits of improving our cash flow and driving EPS accretion. Our remaining stake in Wella remains a key financial asset for Coty, which we expect to bring further value over time.”

— Laurent Mercier, Coty’s Chief Financial Officer

“The agreement we have reached with Coty enables each party to recognize the significant value and growth created in each of the two businesses over the past year, while allowing KKR to increase its interest in Wella, which is our focus. We continue to see meaningful opportunities to accelerate growth at both Wella and Coty and look forward to our enduring collaboration.”

— Johannes Huth, KKR Partner and Head of KKR’s EMEA operations