Revlon Struggles With Hard Times
Oct. 01, 1999
NEW YORK (AP) _ Revlon Inc., one of the best-known makers of cosmetics and consumer products, said today it is in talks to sell its salon-based business and some Latin American brands in an effort to reverse its flagging fortunes.
Ronald O. Perelman, the billionaire businessman who controls Revlon, put the company up for sale in April, but was unable to find a buyer.
Disappointed investors pushed Revlon's shares down 27 percent, or by $4.93 3/4, to $13.31 1/4 in early morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock had risen to a high of $30.25 in June in anticipation the company would be sold.
Revlon has been struggling to pay off $1.8 billion in debt at a time when its traditional lipstick, blush and eyeshadows are being challenged by new products from competitors.
Revlon's salon business and its Latin American brands, which include the Colorama, Juvena, and Plusbelle names, accounted for about 20 percent of its $2.2 billion in sales last year
The company said it was negotiating or in active discussions with prospective buyers for businesses and expects to get more than $500 million from their sale. Revlon hopes to complete the sales early next year, and will use the money to reduce its debt burden.
Nevertheless, Perelman will have to renegotiate the terms of his loans because new, unexpected losses this year will put the company out of compliance with certain financial covenants.
George Fellows, president and chief executive of Revlon, said the company also plans to reduce product shipments by $280 million through the end of the year to reduce inventories at U.S. retailers.
Fellows said leaner inventories will ``allow the efficient introduction of new products into the marketplace.''
As a result of this and worsening economic conditions in key international markets, Fellows said the company expects an operating loss before restructuring charges of $70 million to $80 million.
In the third quarter alone, Revlon expects a net loss before restructuring charges of $3.10 to $3.20 a share. Wall Street had expected the New York-based company to earn 45 cents a share in the third quarter and 72 cents for the full year.