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Revlon Stock Up on Buyout Talk

May 21, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Revlon Inc.’s stock rose today on a report that the struggling cosmetics company was in talks to sell all or part of the company to leading fragrance maker Coty Inc.

It was the latest surge in Revlon’s stock since the company confirmed in early April that it was seeking to sell some of its divisions. In midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Revlon’s stock was changing hands at $31.12 1/2, up $1.87 1/2 or 6.4 percent from its closing level yesterday.

The stock had traded as low as $13.62 1/2 on March 19, before merger rumors began circulating. Other rumored bidders have included Unilever, the maker of Calvin Klein and Elizabeth Arden cosmetics and fragrances,

Spokesman for both Revlon and Coty declined to comment on the report of the talks, which were first reported by The New York Times on Friday.

Billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, chairman and chief executive of Revlon, owns 83 percent of the company’s stock through his firm MacAndrews & Forbes.

Revlon’s sales and profits have been slipping amidst cutthroat competition in the cosmetics field, and the company has a heavy debt burden of about $1.7 billion.

Revlon makes Revlon and Almay makeup, Flex shampoo and Charlie perfume. Coty, which is owned by the Dutch holding company Joh. A. Benckiser, makes several leading fragrances, including Vanilla Fields for women and Stetson for men.

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