Shares of Avon Products Inc have gone up as much as 20% after an apparently non-existent firm incorporated in a remote archipelago in the Indian Ocean has offered to buy the cosmetics company for around three times its market value.
In an official statement, Avon said that it had not received any such offer.
On Thursday, the purported acquirer said in a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it would pay $18.75 per share for Avon. The purported acquirer identified itself as PTG Capital Partners.
Shares of Avon peaked at $8 and have ended up 6% at $7.07 even after a number of traders have doubted the veracity of the offer. After news of the filing broke, about 69.5 million shares changed hands on the stock's busiest day since March 20.
In the attempts to reach contacts listed in the filing, a law firm named Trose & Cox in Texas and PTG itself in London were unsuccessful. The US Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t make any immediate comment on the veracity of the filing.
The filing had multiple errors of grammar, and PTG also called itself TPG in places. TPG is a prominent private equity firm in Fort Worth, Texas, and it said that the firm is not related to PTG.
The filing has also lifted chunks of text from TPG's website to describe itself and provided a contact address similar to TPG's in Fort Worth.
In a statement referring to PTG, Avon said, “It has not received any offer or other communications from such an entity, and has not been able to confirm that such an entity exists”.
SEC's website has stated that Edgar filings are ‘largely automated’. It noted that the information is provided by filers and that the SEC staff ‘generally does not correct errors’ or intervene in the process. It mentioned that the staff will consider requests to correct errors in rare and unusual situations.