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Permira's Hugo Boss Stake Reportedly For Sale

Permira Advisers LLP is in talks with advisers about a potential sale of its remaining stake in German fashion house Hugo Boss AG seven years after taking control, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.
World Cup Champions from Germany in Hugo Boss Campaign
By
  • Bloomberg

METZINGEN, Germany — Permira Advisers LLP is in talks with advisers about a potential sale of its remaining stake in German fashion house Hugo Boss AG seven years after taking control, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The private-equity firm, which owns 56 percent of Hugo Boss, is in talks with banks to see who could find a buyer for the stake, which is valued at about 4.2 billion euros ($5.5 billion), said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. No decision has been made.

Permira holds Hugo Boss through its Red & Black Holding GmbH company, and has cut its stake through two share sales in the past 18 months. The London-based firm’s preference is to sell the stake in a single transaction because a series of sales to institutional investors could hurt the stock price, the people said.

In May, shares in the Frankfurt-listed company fell as much as 3.4 percent after the investor said it had sold about 5.6 percent of its stake for 401.6 million euros.

Representatives for Permira and Hugo Boss declined to comment.

Under Chief Executive Officer Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, Boss shares have more than quintupled in price in the past five years. The maker of perfume advertised by Gwyneth Paltrow and the slim-fitting duds worn by German national soccer coach Joachim Loew on the World Cup sidelines has been reclaiming control over its distribution and marketing by opening more of its own stores. The company also hired star designer Jason Wu, who designed inaugural gowns for Michelle Obama.

Under German takeover law, when a buyer acquires at least 30 percent in a target company, they are required to make an offer to the remaining shareholders unless granted an exemption by Germany’s regulator BaFin.

The shares have gained 18 percent in the last 12 months, compared to a 1.1 percent decline in the Bloomberg European Fashion Index.

By: Aaron Ricadela; Kiel Porter; Ruth David; Editors: Celeste Perri; Aaron Kirchfeld

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