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L'Occitane's billionaire owner close to possible $7 billion buyout bid, Bloomberg reports

FILE PHOTO: Cosmetic products displayed in the window of a L’Occitane cosmetics store in central Paris

(Reuters) -The billionaire owner of L'Occitane International is close to making a proposal to take the French skincare firm private as early as Monday in a deal that could value it at about $7 billion including debt, Bloomberg News reported.

Chairman Reinold Geiger's investment holding company, L'Occitane Groupe SA, is considering an offer for the Hong-Kong listed firm's shares he does not already own, at HK$33 to HK$34 per share, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Earlier in the month, Reuters reported that Geiger was in advanced discussions with investors and lenders and was planning to make an attempt to buy out the company, months after he had shelved a previous attempt, according to two sources.

A possible offer could value L'Occitane at about 6.5 billion euros ($6.95 billion), Bloomberg reported, adding that Blackstone Inc's tactical opportunities fund and Goldman Sachs Asset Management may provide around 1.6 billion euros in funding.

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Trading of L’Occitane was suspended in Hong Kong on April 9, pending an announcement related to takeover codes.

Geiger had decided against a deal to take the company private last September, triggering a drag in the shares.

L'Occitane, Blackstone and Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

($1 = 0.9353 euros)

(Reporting by Rishav Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)