NEW YORK — Cutting the size of the bill coming due in 2004, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute SA quietly added 1 percent to its stake in Gucci Group NV during the past two months.
According to a Schedule 13D filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, PPR, through its Scholefield Goodmann BV subsidiary in The Netherlands, acquired a total of 1,097,323 common shares of Gucci between Oct. 17 and Dec. 24, boosting its stake in the Dutch luxury powerhouse to 54.1 percent of outstanding shares. This reduces the percentage of Gucci shares held by other parties to 45.9 percent.
The calculation of PPR’s stake was based on Gucci’s 100,460,637 shares outstanding as of Nov. 30, the Schedule 13D said. David Katz of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Gucci’s U.S. counsel, noted that that figure could fluctuate based on stock options and other considerations.
PPR said the purchases were made from available funds but didn’t elaborate.
Because PPR has pledged to buy all shares of Gucci it doesn’t own in 2004 for $101.50 each, the transactions cut the size of the amount due by about $111.4 million. PPR doled out about $102.1 million for the stock, according to the Schedule 13D, so the purchases represent about a $9.3 million savings for the French retailing giant.
Gucci shares closed at $90.53, up 78 cents, or 0.9 percent, Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was 1,000 shares above its average of 250,409 shares a day.
PPR made 48 purchases on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange and three on the NYSE during the period. In total, the Amsterdam acquisitions came to 997,323 shares for $93.1 million and those in the U.S. to 100,000 shares for $8.9 million. In Amsterdam, prices ranged from a low of $92.57 on Nov. 13 to a high of $94.95 on Nov. 6. The largest blocks were 50,000 shares each, on both Oct. 28 and Nov. 13. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at the current exchange rate of 1.0366 dollars per euro. The euro has traded for more than $1 for most of this month, but was less than parity for most of the period covered in the Schedule 13D.The largest single trade during the two months was on the NYSE on Oct. 29, when PPR acquired 58,000 Gucci shares at $89 a share for a total purchase price of $5.2 million. Another purchase of 22,000 shares on the same day cost PPR $88.75 a share, or $2 million, and the other New York trade, on Nov. 5, entailed 20,000 shares at $91.50 a share, or $1.8 million.
Securities traded in the U.S. are required to report to the SEC cumulative and individual stock transactions that effect swings in ownership of 1 percent or more for firms or individuals with stake in a firm of 5 percent or more.
Katz, of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Gucci’s U.S. counsel, told WWD that the share purchases would have no material effect on PPR’s pending acquisition of all shares held by others in 2004. "PPR is obligated to make an offer in 2004 regardless of the number of shares acquired," he said. "To the extent that they’re holding certain shares already, there are fewer shares to be tendered."
Last Thursday, Gucci Group reported that weakness in its core Gucci division and higher losses at Yves Saint Laurent had reduced third-quarter profits by 14.4 percent, to $54.2 million, as sales rose 3.2 percent to $660.9 million. Revenues in the Gucci division dropped 5.1 percent to $364.5 million as its operating profit before goodwill amortization fell 11.8 percent to $93 million.
As reported, PPR has been in discussions to sell a number of its credit holdings as it seeks to allay investor fears about its debt load of approximately $6 billion. French entrepreneur François Pinault controls PPR through his Artemis family holding group.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)