Avon Responds to Activist Investor Barington Capital

Dow Jones Newswires

Avon Products on Friday responded to activist investor Barington Capital's public campaign launched Thursday to turn the beauty-products seller around, saying it welcomes shareholder feedback. "Our board of directors and management team regularly review a wide range of options regarding our business and operations and take into account the views of Avon shareholders," the company said in a statement. The company pointed to actions it has taken to drive growth, including in its North American business. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Avon is in advanced talks to sell its North American business to Cerberus Capital Management LP. In a letter to the company, Barington said it believes Avon doesn't need cash from a private-equity investment and can still fix its operations. It said it would oppose the deal at current prices. The group believes a new chief executive to succeed Sherilyn McCoy, as well as new board members, could stabilize Avon's business. Barington also said it planned to nominate a slate of directors for Avon's 2016 annual meeting. "We look forward to continuing our dialogue with our shareholders as we execute our plans," Avon said in the statement Friday. Write to Anne Steele at Anne.Steele@wsj.com

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