Kering SA, which also owns Gucci, contacted potential buyers earlier this year to gauge interest, said the people, who asked not to be identified because talks are private. Sovereign-wealth funds from the Middle East such as Qatar as well as Asian investors were approached, they said.

The discussions have yet to lead to any sort of takeover proposal and it remains unclear whether the Paris-based company will still pursue a sale of the brand, the people said. Representatives for Kering, Puma and Qatar declined to comment.

Kering owns about 86% of Puma, having acquired control of the sporting-goods maker in 2007. Puma, which has a market valuation of about €2.5 billion (US$3.1 billion) based on the remaining traded shares, is revamping athletic shoes and stepping up marketing as it seeks to reorient the company’s positioning around performance gear.

Source: Bloomberg