Kering to Spin Off the Bulk of Puma Shares to Focus on Luxury

Kering is forging ahead with its plans to focus more heavily on high-end labels.

The luxury conglomerate announced today its plans to distribute around 70 percent of Puma’s outstanding shares — out of the 86.3 percent it owns — to Artémis, which holds 40.9 percent of Kering’s shares.

Artémis would become a long-term strategic shareholder of Puma with an ownership stake of about 29 percent, Kering said. Post-transaction, Puma’s free-float would increase to 55 percent.

Kering chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault said the proposed spinoff of Puma shares to its shareholders would be “a significant milestone” in the history of the company.

“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 continue to gain market share and create value,” he added. “This operation would enable our shareholders to directly benefit from Puma’s future value creation. We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth, led by its talented and passionate management team. We have laid strong foundations for a bright future for Puma.”

Following the proposed transaction, Kering would become a minority shareholder, retaining about 16 percent of outstanding Puma shares.

Final terms of the transaction are under review and will be submitted to the vote of Kering shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting on April 26, Kering said.

When it last reported earnings, Kering — which purchased Puma in 2007 — said the athletic brand’s sales had risen 17 percent in its most recent quarter.

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