PPR announced on Tuesday morning that it had taken a 27 percent stake in German sportswear retailer Puma. The French luxury goods group said that it planned to take over the rest of the company for â‚¬5.3 billion, or â‚¬330 per share. With the sale of their stake to PPR, siblings Gunther and Daniela Herz â€“ until now Puma’s largest shareholders â€“ have relinquished all control of Puma.
PPR said the transaction would have a positive effect on income. The acquisition will be completed by July.
The deal is a departure from the norm for both companies. PPR has a large portfolio of luxury brands including Gucci en Yves Saint Laurent and has said in the past that it would concentrate on growing its luxury goods business. Meanwhile, the industry had expected Puma to be a takeover target for its big US rival Nike or British sporting goods retailer Umbro. Puma appeared to be most interested in manifesting itself as a high-end sportswear firm, collaborating on various collections with big fashion names like Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. The latter is actually part of the PPR stable of brands.
â€œThe Puma Board of Management unanimously believes that PPR’s engagement is in the best interests of the company and that the announced offer price per share of â‚¬330 for the voluntary public take-over offer is fair,â€? said Jochen Zeitz, chairman and chief executive of Puma. â€œGoing forward Puma can utilize PPR’s premium segment design and sourcing expertise, contributing to the further improvement of Puma’s product offering. Additionally, PPR’s experience in worldwide retail, wholesale and multi-brand management will provide valuable support to Puma’s brand expansion plans.â€?
According to PPR’s chairman and chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault promised that Puma would be an autonomous part of the group. â€œWe guarnatee Puma’s continuity as an autonomous company within the PPR Group and we will support management with our resources and our know-how in strengthening Puma’s unique brand positioning.â€?
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