PARIS — PPR seems to have a growing appetite for acquisitions.
Theluxury-to-retail group, which on Thursday launched a cash tender offerfor sports firm Volcom Inc., also has its sights on the 18 percentstakein Italian fine jewelry company Pomellato owned by the Damianifamily,according to market sources.
A PPR spokeswoman had nocommentThursday.
It is understood several companies haveexpressedinterest in Damiani’s minority stake since Pomellato is oneof the fewglobal independent companies left on the jewelry scene.Pomellato’schief executive officer, Andrea Morante, a high-profileentrepreneur-cum-investment banker, is plotting an initial publicoffering by 2013.
While Guido Damiani, ceo of Damiani SpA,declined to comment on the PPR speculation, he said his dream continuesto be to form an Italian fine jewelry group, but if that falls through,the family would consider selling its stake. The Rabolini family ownsthe balance of Pomellato shares.
In the meantime, Damiani hasassigned Mediobanca a mandate to explore offers.
According to asource, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s recent acquisition ofBulgari, coupled with the rebound in luxury goods, has piqued interestfor fine jewelry firms.
Separately, PPR said Thursday it wouldfile a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission providingthe terms of the tender offer for Volcom, scheduled to close on June 9.The Californian action sports brand is to file a statement includingtherecommendation of its board that stockholders accept the $607.5millionoffer.
The French retail-to-luxury group is offering$24.50 ashare, a premium of 37 percent over Volcom’s three-monthaverage shareprice. The closing of the offer is conditioned on thevalid tender of amajority of the outstanding shares of Volcom commonstock.
Theacquisition is the first step in PPR’s bid to build amass marketdivision around Puma that could eventually eclipse itsluxury holdingslike Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent.
Havingspunoff its African distribution business CFAO and furniture chainConforama, PPR is looking to shed the rest of its retail operations anduse the proceeds to fund more acquisitions.
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