Reimann family sells 4.9% stake in Reckitt Benckiser for £1.2bn

German Reimann family’s JAB Holdings BV said on Thursday it had sold to institutional investors 36m shares in British consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (LON:RB), or 4.9%, for gross proceeds of some GBP1.2bn (USD1.9bn/EUR1.5bn).

The shares were sold at GBP33.50 apiece through an accelerated bookbuild managed by BofA Merrill Lynch, the vendor said, without disclosing the names of the buyers.

Plans to sell the stake, which left JAB with 10.5% in Reckitt Benckiser, were announced on 9 May, when the vendor said it wanted to raise funds for new investments and diversify its portfolio.

JAB will keep its seat in Reckitt Benckiser’s board after this deal, it said, adding that it would not shed any more Reckitt Benckiser shares for one year.

The investor reaffirmed its commitment to Reckitt Benckiser and its confidence in the company’s new management team and its strategy and prospects.

JAB also owns a majority stake in US fragrances maker Coty Inc which launched in April a USD10bn offer to buy rival Avon Products Inc (NYSE:AVP).

Reckitt Benckiser makes branded household, health and personal care products, selling a range of them through more than 60 operating companies into nearly 200 countries. Its geographical segments include Europe, North America and Australia, Developing Markets and RB Pharmaceuticals.