NUREMBERG, Germany — PPR plans to stand by its original offer for the remaining publicly traded shares of Puma and not sweeten the deal, the company said Thursday.
"This is a good price. It's a full price and it's my final price," said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of PPR, after a news conference in this southern German city. He was referring to the offer of 330 euros, or $443.19 at current exchange, per share that PPR made to remaining shareholders after the French conglomerate bought 27.1 percent of Puma from a German private equity firm.
"One month ago, [Puma's] share price was 260 euros, so 330 euros is a good price," Pinault said. "It's up to shareholders to decide. I am more than happy to buy more shares, but I am also happy to stay with 27 percent."
Some analysts have said a share price of 330 euros is too low for Puma, whose stock spiked sharply over speculation of a deal and has continued to rise since the PPR pact was revealed Tuesday. They believe the offer will have to be sweetened to prevent a counteroffer from other companies.
But Puma's chairman and ceo Jochen Zeitz said that, although he would consider other offers, he considered it unlikely other companies would step forward. "That's the market's view and not just my personal view," he said.
Puma wants to benefit from PPR's retail experience, logistics know-how and international infrastructure, Zeitz said. "From our point of view, we are still underdeveloped when it comes to merchandising luxury goods in department stores," he explained. "Cooperation with PPR will certainly help with this."
PPR has given assurances Puma would remain autonomous, keep its individual identity, retain its German base in Herzogenaurach and not shed staff. "We look at the cooperation as a pool of resources that we can tap into. We would be stupid not to take it up," said Zeitz.
He declined comment on whether the Puma brand would move more upmarket; however, he denied Puma would turn into a purely luxury fashion brand.
"I actually see this as an opportunity to strengthen our sports side," he said. "Because getting access to know-how about the luxury and fashion side of the business will allow us to focus on our sports products."We are just as comfortable raising the [soccer] World Cup in Italy, as on the catwalk in Paris," he continued, adding Puma's official aim is to become the "most desirable sport-lifestyle company in the world."
PPR, which owns a number of luxury labels, including Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, also owns chain stores such as Fnac and Conforama. In total, 43 percent of its income is generated by luxury brands.
"Our vision is to become partners with the most iconic brands in the world," Pinault said. "That will boost our margins and our international profile. Puma fits our profile perfectly."
The German sportswear label has seen remarkable growth over the last few years, with shares increasing 500 percent in value since 2003. Since Zeitz took over in 1993, he has managed to transform the company from a manufacturer of cheap sneakers to a hip lifestyle brand with an average yearly growth of 25 percent.
Various analysts' reports on Wednesday and Thursday applauded the PPR bid for Puma, but raised some concerns over whether a counterbid would appear, Puma's short-term earnings outlook, particularly in the U.S., and the impact of the acquisition on PPR's balance sheet. If completed, the Puma acquisition would cost PPR more than $7 billion and, according to Merrill Lynch, increase net debt of EBIDTA to 3.5 times at the end of fiscal 2007.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty