Blackstone nears deal to take L’Occitane private, shares halted- Bloomberg Private equity firm Blackstone Inc (NYSE:BX) is close to inking a deal to take French luxury cosmetics maker L’Occitane International SA (HK:0973) private, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. 

The alternative asset manager could potentially partner with L’Occitane owner Reinold Geiger for the deal, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Tuesday's report comes after Bloomberg had reported in February that Blackstone was considering a bid for the cosmetics maker.

Trading in the shares of L’Occitane, which were listed in Hong Kong since 2010, was halted on Tuesday in anticipation of an announcement regarding a takeover. 

The company had sought a listing in Hong Kong- its primary public listing- to gain more proximity to its biggest market. While the firm has stores in over 90 countries, China has by far remained its biggest revenue earner.

But reports of L’Occitane’s potential privatization come as part of a growing trend for multinational companies with Hong Kong listings to reconsider their direct exposure to China.

A mix of slowing Chinese economic growth and fears of exposure to U.S. sanctions against the country saw several other Hong Kong-listed multinational firms seek avenues outside the city. 

Recently, Luxembourg-based luggage maker Samsonite International SA (HK:1910) said it was seeking a secondary listing in addition to its Hong Kong shares. The firm, along with L’Occitane, was among the first major multinationals to list in Hong Kong, chiefly for proximity to its biggest markets. 

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