This is strange.
On Thursday afternoon, Avon Products received a buyout offer from PTG Capital Partners for three times its current market price.
In a regulatory filing on Thursday, PTG Capital said it was offering $US18.75 per Avon share; shares of Avon were trading about $US6.60 ahead of this announcement.
At $US18.75 per share, the deal would be worth $US8.2 billion. But there’s a problem: PTG Capital may not exist.
In a statement to Business Insider, Avon said: “In response to an SEC filing made by an entity purporting to be named ‘PTG Capital Partners,’ Avon reports that it has not received any offer or other communication from such an entity and has not been able to confirm that such an entity exists.”
And according to Bloomberg, the SEC is reviewing the legitimacy of the offer. An SEC representative declined comment to Business Insider.
Following the news, shares of Avon were up as much as 19%, but they have since bounced around. In late afternoon trading, the stock was up about 6%.
In its offer, PTG said it had “substantial experience in managing acquisitions and is committed to working quickly to complete due diligence and execute a definitive agreement.”
Curiously, in the “About PTG Partners” section of its offer, the firm refers to itself as “TPG Partners,” which is one of the largest private-equity firms and which does not appear to be affiliated with PTG. The release also contains some spacing issues and a typo. You can read the whole thing here »
After the news, a several folks on Twitter quickly spotted that something odd was going on.
CNBC “Unable to verify” PTG’s existence. Avon halted for volatility not the rumour of a takeover-t hey say. Must be a kid in his basement.
— Lewis Franck (@LewisFranck) May 14, 2015
Last week, Avon fell by more than 7% after a report in the New York Post that the company was struggling to sell its North American business. It posted a loss of $US147 million in Q1.
The stock was halted at least twice after the filing. Here’s a chart showing the strange action in shares: