Gucci owner assumes control of Puma

17-07-2007

Gucci owner assumes control of Puma
Gucci owner PPR has assumed effective control of sportswear maker Puma following the expiration of an extended share offer for the German group.

In a statement today the French luxury goods maker announced that it now holds a 62.1 per cent stake in Puma, making it the majority shareholder in the company.

PPR launched its bid to assume control of Puma after buying a 27.1 per cent stake in the sportswear group in April, for €330 (£222) a share.

The Paris-based group, which also owns the Yves Saint Laurent couture brand, subsequently launched a full takeover bid for the company in an initial public offer which closed on June 20th.

Again offering €330 a share to Puma stockholders, PPR's bid valued the takeover target at €5.3 billion (£3.6 billion) and was supported by the company's management.

But although the offer represented a 19 per cent premium on Puma's share price before news of the impending deal emerged, its investors appeared to be holding out in hope of securing a higher price for the world's third largest sportswear maker by sales.

As a result PPR was forced to extend its voluntary public offer until July 11th.

Welcoming the result of the extended takeover offer, PPR chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault said: "We are very pleased with the final result of our offer to the Puma shareholders who have sent a strong signal of support for the transaction.

"We are at the starting point of a fruitful collaboration and will now focus on implementing our long term strategic vision," he added.

Analysts believe that Puma shareholders who previously rejected the takeover offer may have been persuaded to sell up due to earnings problems at the German company.



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