September 22, 2018 / 11:12 AM / in a month

Henkel says looking at M&A, no comment on Nestle - Boersen-Zeitung

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German consumer goods group Henkel (HNKG_p.DE) is scanning the market for takeovers, its chief financial officer told a paper, declining to say whether it was looking at Nestle’s (NESN.S) skin health unit that was put up for sale earlier this week.

FILE PHOTO: Carsten Knobel, chief financial officer of German consumer goods group Henkel, at Henkel's annual general shareholders' meeting in Duesseldorf, April 11, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

“We continue to see acquisition potential,” Carsten Knobel told Boersen-Zeitung in an interview published on Saturday. “We have defined, and implemented, M&A as an integral part of our strategy in our current strategy cycle.”

Nestle said on Thursday it was exploring strategic options for Nestle Skin Health, which makes Cetaphil and Proactiv skin care brands, with analysts estimating its value at up to 8 billion Swiss francs (£6.4 billion).

“I do not want to comment on that,” Knobel said when asked whether Henkel was looking at the division.

Henkel’s M&A activity has been muted so far this year after the group spent close to 2 billion euros (£1.8 billion) on takeovers in 2017, something Knobel blamed on high valuations.

“Prices are not cheap, but that’s not the only decisive factor. For us it is key whether the target is available, whether there is a strategic fit and whether it is financially attractive. If so, we’ll acquire.”

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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