PARIS — PPR seems to have a growing appetite for acquisitions.
This story first appeared in the May 13, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The luxury-to-retail group, which on Thursday launched a cash tender offer for sports firm Volcom Inc., also has its sights on the 18 percent stake in Italian fine jewelry company Pomellato owned by the Damiani family, according to market sources.
A PPR spokeswoman had no comment Thursday.
It is understood several companies have expressed interest in Damiani’s minority stake since Pomellato is one of the few global independent companies left on the jewelry scene. Pomellato’s chief executive officer, Andrea Morante, a high-profile entrepreneur-cum-investment banker, is plotting an initial public offering by 2013.
While Guido Damiani, ceo of Damiani SpA, declined to comment on the PPR speculation, he said his dream continues to be to form an Italian fine jewelry group, but if that falls through, the family would consider selling its stake. The Rabolini family owns the balance of Pomellato shares.
In the meantime, Damiani has assigned Mediobanca a mandate to explore offers.
According to a source, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s recent acquisition of Bulgari, coupled with the rebound in luxury goods, has piqued interest for fine jewelry firms.
Separately, PPR said Thursday it would file a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission providing the terms of the tender offer for Volcom, scheduled to close on June 9. The Californian action sports brand is to file a statement including the recommendation of its board that stockholders accept the $607.5 million offer.
The French retail-to-luxury group is offering $24.50 a share, a premium of 37 percent over Volcom’s three-month average share price. The closing of the offer is conditioned on the valid tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of Volcom common stock.
The acquisition is the first step in PPR’s bid to build a mass market division around Puma that could eventually eclipse its luxury holdings like Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent.
Having spun off its African distribution business CFAO and furniture chain Conforama, PPR is looking to shed the rest of its retail operations and use the proceeds to fund more acquisitions.