Kering Sells Puma Stake for $1 Billion in Shift to Luxury

Gucci owner Kering SA completed the sale of a 5.9% stake in Puma SE paring an investment in the sports-shoe maker to focus on higher-end luxury.

The French company sold 8.9 million shares in the German brand for 90.3 euros apiece, or a total of about 805 million euros ($982 million), according to a statement on Thursday. Following the accelerated bookbuilding process, Kering will own 4% of Puma.

The transaction comes after 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.”

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