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The Board of Directors of the French luxury conglomerate unanimously proposed on January 11 to submit to its shareholders the project to distribute in kind around 70% of Puma shares, out of the 86.3% currently owned by the Group.
Post transaction, Kering would retain approximately 16% of Puma shares outstanding. Artémis, which holds 40.9% of Kering’s shares, would become a long-term strategic shareholder of Puma with an ownership of about 29%. Puma’s free float would be increased to approximately 55%. By letting go of the sports lifestyle brand, Kering is to reinforce its status as a “leading pure player” in the luxury segment. The Group says its ambition is to continue to grow and develop its powerful ensemble of houses in couture, leather goods, jewellery and watches, leveraging on its high cash-flow generation and strong financial position.
“We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivalled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth, led by its talented and passionate management team”, said François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO, Kering. “We have laid strong foundations for a bright future for Puma. The full support of both Artémis, which would become Puma’s main shareholder, and Kering, as a significant minority shareholder, reflects a strong confidence in the company’s ability to continue to deliver its strategic and financial objectives.”
Final terms of the distribution in kind of Puma shares to Kering shareholders are under review and are to be submitted to the vote of Kering shareholders at the Annual General Meeting to be held on April 26, 2018.