BERLIN — The largest shareholder of Hugo Boss, Permira Holdings Limited, is once again shaving its stake in the German fashion group.


Permira, which currently holds a 39 percent stake in Boss, intends to place up 4.9 million shares of Hugo Boss AG in an accelerated bookbuilding process through its majority owned company Red & Black S.A.. This represents 7 percent of the total share capital, and will increase the free float of Boss to about 66 percent of share capital. Permira will now hold a 32 percent interest in the company.


This is the third time Permira has reduced its Boss stake this year, and corroborates reports following the last placement in September that the company planned to further diminish its holdings. Permira isn’t commenting on the bookbuilding, which reportedly has already started, or on future plans to reduce its stake after the required 90 day lock-up period. Speculation is now growing that Permira could be interested in selling the remaining Boss stake to a strategic investor.


Permira’s involvement with Boss goes back to 2007, when it acquired Valentino, the former parent company of Hugo Boss. Boss is considered the jewel of the Permira Fonds IV, which runs to 2016.


Insider reports indicate the placement shares are being offered at a set price of 102 euros, 3 percent under the closing price Thursday on Frankfurt’s electronic platform Xetra. This would net Permira about 500 million euros, following September’s placement which generated some 800 million euros.


Boss shares were down 3.3 percent to 102 euros on Xetra in morning trading.

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