Kering to sell down Puma stake

Luxury fashion brand owner Kering says it will sell off the majority of its Puma stake.

Under the plan, Kering will reduce its 86 per cent holding in the German athletics-wear label to 16 per cent, the remaining 70 per cent of stock distributed proportionally to Kering shareholders.

While Puma has proven successful under Kering’s ownership, the Paris-headquartered company wants to shift its focus to what it sees as its core business – luxury brands like Gucci, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney, and a growing focus on watches and jewellery.

“With Puma’s unique DNA, heritage of innovation and creativity, the ongoing successful implementation of its “Forever Faster” transformation plan has started to deliver results,” said Kering in a statement.

“The brand is enjoying strong revenue growth momentum and achieving an improvement in its profitability. Furthermore, Puma’s management team is fully committed to pursue its successful strategy, and continue to deliver the growth and profitability potential of the brand.”

“We are very pleased that Kering has proposed this way to reduce its stake in Puma, said Bjørn Gulden, CEO of Puma. “It would allow us to continue with our current business strategy that has started to show good results. We would be able to carry on to invest in becoming the Fastest Sports Brand in the world, create value for retailers, improve performance for athletes and excite consumers.

“Puma would become much more attractive for investors as our shares would have a substantially higher free float and larger trading volumes. Kering and [Kering’s largest shareholder] Artémis, however, would remain strong partners and shareholders, which proves that they believe in our strategy and Puma’s future success,” said Gulden.

The Puma stake divestment will be voted on by Kering shareholders on April 26.

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