The private equity firm has been conducting preliminary due diligence as it evaluates a potential offer for L’Occitane, the people said. Blackstone is considering the possibility of teaming up with L’Occitane’s billionaire chairman Reinold Geiger on a buyout, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.L’Occitane shares rose 0.8 percent in Hong Kong trading Monday, giving it a market value of about HK$38.4 billion ($4.9 billion). Last year, Geiger considered taking the company private with a view to potentially relisting it in Europe at a higher valuation. He eventually abandoned the idea, triggering a slump in L’Occitane stock.An investment vehicle ultimately controlled by Geiger owns more than 70 percent of L’Occitane, exchange filings show. Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a proposal. L’Occitane could also attract interest from other suitors, the people said.A Blackstone representative declined to comment. A spokesperson for L’Occitane didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The company, headquartered in Luxembourg, went public on the Hong Kong bourse in 2010. The stock peaked in 2022 at more than double its IPO price, but has since retreated. L’Occitane’s enterprise value was about 10 times its estimated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at Monday’s close, while peers on average trade at more than 13 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.By Vinicy Chan, Manuel Baigorri and Cathy ChanLearn more:L’Occitane Names New Group CEOLaurent Marteau has been named CEO of the L’Occitane Group, effective April 1, the Hong-Kong listed company announced Monday.