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Kering to Reduce Puma Stake Further With $1 Billion Sale

Puma x Tomas Maier. Courtesy.

Gucci owner Kering SA is further reducing its stake in Puma SE, paring an investment in the sports-shoe maker to focus on higher-end luxury.

The French company said it will sell 8.9 million shares in the German brand, a stake representing around 5.9%, according to a statement on Wednesday. Following the sale, to be executed via an accelerated bookbuilding process, Kering will own 4 percent of Puma.

At Wednesday’s price, the stake is worth 833 million euros ($1 billion). The transaction follows a previous sale in October of the same size.

Kering began reducing its holding in the sneaker and sportswear brand in 2018, more than a decade after investing in it.

The Pinault family, which controls Kering, has gradually pushed its portfolio upmarket since taking a controlling stake in Gucci.

Kering said the sale proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes and will further boost its financial structure. It could also give the company additional ammunition for acquisitions. Last month, Chief Executive Officer Francois-Henri Pinault said Kering had the financial means to look at deals.

“This is an excellent move,” said Luca Solca, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, in an email. “It brings Kering closer to making more relevant luxury-focused M&A deals.”

By Angelina Rascouet

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