By  on January 2, 2007

PARIS - François Pinault, the French billionaire who controls PPR and Gucci Group, on Tuesday said he had yet to decide whether to make a play for France’s Suez utilities business.

In a terse statement, Pinault said, “No decision concerning an eventual offer for Suez has been taken and all options remain open.”

Pinault was pressured to clarify his position vis-à-vis Suez by French stock market authorities after rampant rumors sent the firm’s stock soaring. The noncommittal tone of Pinault’s statement, though, appeared to do little to calm the market.Suez’s stock gained as much as 3 percent in trading Tuesday.

Pinault, who made his fortune in lumber, has been focusing PPR on luxury. Last year, for example, he sold the Printemps department store chain to a group of investors led by Rinascente chairman Maurizio Borletti.

For complete coverage see tomorrow's issue of WWD.

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