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Kering Proposed a Tie-Up, Says Richemont Chair

Johann Rupert, executive chairman of Richmont. Courtesy.
Johann Rupert, executive chairman of Richmont. Courtesy.

Johann Rupert, Richemont’s chairman, insists he has no interest in selling the Switzerland-based luxury goods company, but admitted Kering proposed a partnership of sorts to him “more than a year ago,” according to the Financial Times.

Online publication Miss Tweed originally reported in late March that Richemont had been approached by French luxury goods group Kering for a potential merger in January but had rejected the offer — a timeline, Financial Times points out, which differs from the one Rupert alluded to.

Speculation over a potential team-up has been swirling for years, as industry experts note it would aid the two companies in competing with LVMH given Kering’s edge in soft luxury items such as leather goods and Richemont’s in hard luxury, like watches. Rupert’s confirmation of past Kering-Richemont talks comes as luxury rebounds rapidly from the pandemic-driven shut downs.

Shares in the Cartier parent rose nearly 6 percent after the group proposed to double its dividend and flagged strong current trading with “accelerating trends across all business areas.”

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