NEW YORK — Pinault-Printemps-Redoute SA upped its Gucci Group NV stake to 65.63 percent as July drew to a close and put a plan in place that will bring it to the brink of its 70 percent ownership target for 2003.

During the 11 days leading up to Aug. 1, PPR acquired 917,000 Gucci shares for a total price of $89 million, or an average of $97.06 a share, on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange, as PPR paid 79.1 million euros for the Gucci stock.

According to a Form 13D filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the purchases in late July lifted PPR’s total Gucci holdings to 65,150,996 shares.

Additionally, PPR established a stock purchase plan under which Credit Agricole Indosuez Cheuvreux is authorized to buy up to 4 million shares of Gucci on PPR’s behalf between Aug. 1 and Oct. 19. Those purchases, if effected, would put PPR’s stake in Gucci on the cusp of the 70 percent mark it has established as its yearend target.

Under terms of the CAIC plan, shares may be bought on the New York Stock Exchange for $99 or less at times when the exchange rate is at least $1.07 per euro. Shares may be bought on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange for prices not to exceed $104.10, or 92.52 euros, a share. The authorization allows PPR to continue to acquire shares without violating insider trading regulations.

A similar purchase plan, covering one million shares to be purchased in Amsterdam, was in force between June 11 and July 6.

A 70 percent stake in Gucci would put PPR’s Gucci holdings at about 70 million shares, which would mean that PPR would receive more than $1.06 billion when Gucci makes its special 13.5 euro payment to shareholders.

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