June 13, 2015 / 2:40 PM / 4 years ago

Henkel CEO downplays Wella takeover speculation: paper

A logo of consumer goods group Henkel is pictured before its annual news conference in Duesseldorf March 8, 2012. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The chief executive of Henkel & Co KGaA AG (HNKG_p.DE) poured cold water on speculation the consumer goods maker was preparing to buy hair care firm Wella from Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N), saying his company didn’t need big acquisitions to grow.

“We don’t absolutely have to have big, multi-billion-euro acquisitions to reach our financial goals,” Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in a version of the interview set to appear on Sunday.

“But you can be sure that we’ll still continue to invest our funds cleverly.”

Reuters reported earlier this week that Henkel had made an offer for P&G’s hair care business, with a valuation that could reach $5 billion to $7 billion.

Henkel, maker of Schwarzkopf shampoo, Persil detergent and Pril dishwasher liquid, was considered to be the most likely buyer for Wella, but private equity firm KKR & Co LP (KKR.N) had also submitted a bid, Reuters said.

“We’re well positioned and we invest in our locations, brands and in innovation as well as in takeovers if they make a good strategic fit and if the price is right,” Rorsted told the newspaper, though he did not comment directly on takeover speculation.

A company spokesman also declined to comment.

Procter & Gamble aims to sell dozens of brands to streamline its sprawling portfolio and focus on more profitable products.

Henkel shares closed at 105.45 euros on Friday, shedding 0.8 percent over the course of the week compared to a near-flat performance by the German blue-chip DAX index .GDAXI.

Reporting by Thomas Atkins; editing by Clelia Oziel

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