By  on December 14, 2005

LONDON — Burberry's de-merger from longtime parent Great Universal Stores plc took place Tuesday morning, the day after shareholders approved the move at an extraordinary meeting.

At 8 am, when the London Stock Exchange opened, Burberry became a 100 percent free-floating stock. In May, GUS announced its plans to cut Burberry loose in order to refocus its own corporate structure and allow Burberry to flourish as an independent entity.

Principals from both GUS, which until now held a 65 percent stake in the fashion house, and Burberry said the de-merger was a logical step, following Burberry's partial flotation in 2002. Burberry's outgoing chief executive, Rose Marie Bravo, has run a tight ship since the company's partial flotation, and attracted a string of blue chip investors.

On Tuesday, GUS shareholders received 305 Burberry shares, and 860 new GUS shares, for every 1,000 GUS shares they already held. At the market's close, Burberry shares closed at 4.17 pounds, or $7.38, down slightly from the previous close of 4.26 pounds, or $7.54. GUS shares were also down, closing at 9.69 pounds, or $17.15, from the previous close of 11.26 pounds, or $19.93. All figures have been calculated at current exchange.

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