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Stella McCartney buying out Kering

Kering is selling its 50 per cent stake in fashion label Stella McCartney back to the namesake designer after a 17-year partnership.

The news follows a Business of Fashion report last month revealing that a formal transition process was already in motion with an announcement imminent.

“It is the right moment to acquire full control of the company bearing my name,” says McCartney.

“This opportunity represents a crucial patrimonial decision for me. I am extremely grateful to Francois-Henri Pinault and his family and everyone at the Kering group for everything we have built together in the past 17 years. I look forward to the next chapter of my life and what this brand and our team can achieve in the future.”

Kering chairman/chief executive Pinault says it is the right time for McCartney to move to the next stage. “Kering is a luxury group that empowers creative minds and helps disruptive ideas become reality. I am extremely proud of what Kering and Stella McCartney have accomplished together.”

McCartney had the option, expiring on Saturday, to buy back Kering’s shares in the label, according to the terms of their JV. Kering and Stella McCartney have previously acknowledged separation talks on more than one occasion over the course of their partnership.

McCartney’s father, musician Paul McCartney, is said to have played a role in helping to finance the buyback, but this cannot be independently confirmed, reports Business of Fashion. A spokesperson for McCartney previously told the online publication that her father has never been involved with the business.

The disposal of Stella McCartney comes at a time when Kering is streamlining its portfolio. It announced in January it would spin off German sportswear brand Puma to its own shareholders.

The split comes after Kering announced its most profitable year on record, with group net profits soaring 120 per cent last year driven by “spectacular” growth at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent as well as a strong performance by Balenciaga, the group’s fastest-growing brand in the fourth quarter.

The conglomerate posted sales of €15.5 billion (about US$19.2 billion), up 27.2 per cent year on year. Revenues topped €10 billion for the first time, with Gucci crossing the €6 billion mark in sales.

McCartney first made her mark at Richemont-owned fashion label Chloe, before launching her eponymous brand in partnership with Gucci Group (once a subsidiary of what is now Kering).

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