By  on October 8, 2009

PARIS — French retail-to-luxury group PPR SA plans to spin off its African distribution unit on the Euronext stock exchange in Paris by the end of this year, if market conditions are favorable.

PPR, which also owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, said it expects to sell its majority stake in CFAO, which distributes pharmaceuticals and cars mostly in Africa.

François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executiveofficer of PPR, said the planned flotation of CFAO is in line with the group’s plans to focus its business on luxury and retail.

“This project is a further step in PPR’s growth strategy to focus on a coherent group of internationally recognized lifestyle brands, both in the broader consumer and luxury markets,” he said.

In 2008, CFAO generated sales worth 2.86 billion euros, or $4.2 billion at average exchange rates for the period, helping offset a weaker performance of PPR’s retail businesses, which were hurt by the economic downturn.

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