PARIS, France — Kering SA, the owner of Gucci, entered exclusive talks to sell La Redoute to management, aiming to complete the disposal of the mail-order unit in the first half of 2014 as it focuses on luxury and sporting goods.
The discussions also concern the Relais Colis home-delivery business, the Paris-based company said in a statement.
Kering’s board met today to consider four offers and decided to pursue negotiations with a group led by La Redoute Chief Executive Officer Nathalie Balla and Eric Courteille, chief administrative officer of the Redcats home-shopping unit that’s being broken up and sold.
The owner of luxury brands that also include Bottega Veneta will invest in the companies’ transformation and provide a “significant” infusion of cash, both parties said. The bidder has pledged to minimize job cuts, they said.
Kering said last month it expects net income to drop “very significantly” this year because of costs related to the sale of La Redoute and one-time charges for the Puma sporting-goods brand. The company has sought to sell La Redoute since 2010.
The mail-order business is the largest unit of Redcats. A fund owned by Swedish buyout firm Nordic Capital agreed in February to buy two Redcats brands, bringing proceeds from selling the division’s parts to more than $1 billion.
By Andrew Roberts; Editors: Paul Jarvis, Robert Valpuesta, Celeste Perri