Henkel CEO Ulrich Lehner said in a speech to a meeting of his company's shareholders today that P&G should increase its offer for preference shares, which are similar to preferred shares in the U.S., so that the offer is similar to the one for ordinary or common shares.
Shareholders approved deal
Henkel can't prevent P&G from taking
P&G has offered Wella's minority shareholders about $99 a share for ordinary shares and about $66 a share for preference shares. Mr. Lehner said the price for non-voting preference shares should be closer to that of ordinary.
Some analysts speculate Henkel may want to buy Wella's retail hair-care or fragrance business or some other piece of P&G's beauty-care business as its price for surrendering the shares.
A Henkel spokesman could not be reached for comment.
A P&G spokesman called the offer for Wella's preference shares "fair and attractive." While the offer is only an 8% premium to the average share price during the three months before the deal was announced, it's 50% above what shares traded at in October, before speculation about a possible deal began to build.
The spokesman said he was not aware of any talks to date between P&G and Henkel concerning the Wella stake, adding that he couldn't speculate on whether a transaction between the companies could take the form of brands or businesses rather than cash.