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Henkel says looking at M&A, no comment on Nestle-Boersen-Zeitung

The logo of German consumer chemicals giant Henkel can be seen at the company's plant in Duesseldorf, western Germany, on January 18, 2016. 

German consumer goods group Henkel is scanning the market for takeovers, its chief financial officer told a paper, declining to say whether it was looking at Nestle's skin health unit that was put up for sale earlier this week.

"We continue to see acquisition potential," Carsten Knobel told Boersen-Zeitung in an interview published on Saturday. "We have defined, and implemented, M&A as an integral part of our strategy in our current strategy cycle."

Nestle said on Thursday it was exploring strategic options for Nestle Skin Health, which makes Cetaphil and Proactiv skin care brands, with analysts estimating its value at up to 8 billion Swiss francs (£6.4 billion).

"I do not want to comment on that," Knobel said when asked whether Henkel was looking at the division.

Henkel's M&A activity has been muted so far this year after the group spent close to 2 billion euros (£1.8 billion) on takeovers in 2017, something Knobel blamed on high valuations.

"Prices are not cheap, but that's not the only decisive factor. For us it is key whether the target is available, whether there is a strategic fit and whether it is financially attractive. If so, we'll acquire."