PPR SALE: Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, the French retailer that owns Gucci Group, on Tuesday said it was in exclusive talks to unload its electrical equipment supplier, Rexel, to a consortium headed by investment firm Eurazeo and Merrill Lynch’s private equity. The deal values Rexel, which PPR had promised to sell by yearend, at 3.7 billion euros, or $4.88 billion at current exchange rates. It will ease PPR’s debt of 7.89 billion euros, or $10.41 billion, which was inflated by the purchase in April of outstanding Gucci shares, and makes good on PPR’s promise to shed its business-to-business activities in favor of retail and luxury. Over the last two years, PPR, controlled by French magnate François Pinault, has divested its office supplies division, its wood and construction supplies unit and consumer credit arms.
BULGARI’S SELL: Two members of the Bulgari family have tendered some of their shares in the Roman jeweler to finance personal endeavors. Paolo and Nicola Bulgari, chairman and vice chairman, respectively, sold a total of 5.9 million shares, or about 1.9 percent of the share capital, to Italian and international institutional investors on Tuesday, according to a company statement. The company did not disclose the tender price, but analysts put the price at 8.65 euros, or $11.48 at current exchange, a share. At that price, the brothers earned approximately 51 million euros, or $67.7 million, from the transaction. The money will be used to finance “personal projects,” according to the statement. Bulgari chief Francesco Trapani agreed to the sale, citing it would have no effect on the control of the company or impact the group’s dividend policy. The shareholders’ agreement, of which the Bulgaris and Trapani are members, continues to control the majority of the share capital at 51.9 percent, while a large portion of the remainder is traded on the Italian stock exchange. Bulgari shares fell 3 percent to close at 8.60 euros, or $11.42, on the Milan Bourse Tuesday.
NEW DEAL: Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. and G-III Apparel Group Ltd. said they have reached an agreement to expand their outerwear relationship. On Jan. 1, G-III, which has been the licensee for women’s Kenneth Cole New York and Reaction Kenneth Cole outerwear since 1995, also will manufacture, market and distribute men’s outerwear for the Kenneth Cole New York and Reaction labels, according to a G-III statement. The dual-gender license will last for four years and have one possible four-year renewal term.
This story first appeared in the December 1, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.