Coty, a company nobody’s ever heard of, has been out for over a month with an unsolicited $10 billion bid to take over Avon. That wasn’t getting the job done, so now they’ve sweetened the pot somewhat to $10.7 billion and also brought Warren Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway in on the deal to provide equity financing.
Since Coty is a privately held subsidiary of a German family holding company they don’t need to explain to any shareholders what it is about Avon that they find so appealing. Coty’s business is making celebrity-branded beauty products for the likes of Beyoncé and David Beckham. Avon is clearly in a somewhat related field, but it’s a very different business, and there’s a giant cloud of an ongoing bribery investigation still hanging around the company. But the Germans—and now Buffett—seem to think it’s worth paying a premium for.