Luxury group Kering to spin off Puma to its own shareholders

Luxury group Kering to spin off Puma to its own shareholders

"Having more brands in the portfolio is not the focus at the moment", Bjorn Gulden told journalists during a conference call after French conglomerate Kering announced late on Thursday that it planned to spin off Puma to its shareholders. As a effect, Kerings largest shareholder Artémis SA* would receive approximately 29% of PUMAs share capital and would become a direct and long-term shareholder.

Gulden said there were very few operational synergies with Kering. "It would allow us to continue with our current business strategy that has started to show good results".

Kering shares were up 0.9 percent at 412.40 euros in early session trading, with the stock at one point touching a record intraday high of 415 euros. "At the same time, Kering will be now able to focus purely on its luxury goods business, where we continue to see value", wrote analysts at brokerage Berenberg.

The holding company of the Pinault family, Artemis, which owns almost 41 percent of Kering, plans to be a long-term strategic investor in Puma with a stake of approximately 29 percent, the statement said.

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The price of the transaction, which will be put to Kering shareholders in April at the group's annual meeting, has yet to be determined, he said.

The disposal was likely to be a boost for Kering shares, analysts said.

"Kering would dedicate itself entirely to the development of its luxury houses, whose enduring appeal, built on creative audacity and innovativeness, will allow us to gain market share and create value".

"The contemplated distribution of Puma shares to our shareholders would be a significant milestone in the history of the Group", said Francois-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering.