French luxury group Kering has sold an almost 6 percent stake in Puma as it continues to wind down its investment in the German sportswear category.
Kering announced Thursday “the launch of the sell-down of approximately 8.9 million shares that it owns in Puma SE, representing approximately 5.9 percent of the share capital of Puma, through a placement to qualified investors only”.
Based on the Puma share price at the close of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Wednesday, the transaction would represent an amount of more than 830 million euros.
Following the placement, Kering said it expects to retain around 4 percent of Puma’s outstanding shares. It means Puma’s free float is expected to be increased to approximately 66.7 percent.
“The proceeds of this transaction will be used for the general corporate purposes of Kering and will further strengthen its financial structure,” Kering added.
## Kering trims Puma stake
The luxury conglomerate, controlled by the billionaire Pinault family, first snapped up a 27.1 percent controlling stake in Puma back in 2007 as part of a push into the sportswear and lifestyle categories.
But since 2018, when the group had an 86.3 percent stake in Puma, Kering has been pressing forward with a new strategy to focus on the group’s bread and butter, the luxury sector.
That year, Kering reduced its stake in Puma from 86.3 percent to around 16 percent.
Kering’s revenue rose 25.8 percent to 3.89 billion euros on a comparable basis in the first quarter of 2021, marking a rebound to pre-Covid revenue levels, driven by strong sales at Gucci.
It was the latest indication that the luxury industry is beginning to recover after a devastating year of lockdowns, with the group seeing strong sales growth across its luxury houses’ directly operated networks in regions like Asia-Pacific (83 percent) and North America (46 percent) where restrictions are easing.