LONDON – There they go again.
Burberry’s shares made modest gains in late-day trading on Monday following a report in the Financial Times that the British brand had rebuffed “multiple takeover” approaches by U.S. rival Coach.
Burberry shares were up 1.9 percent to 14.39 pounds, or $18.32, at 4:50 p.m. Central European Time on Monday, building on modest gains from earlier in the day.
The FT pointed out that while approaches may have been made, “there are no longer any active talks between the companies, and that is not expected to change anytime soon.” A Burberry spokesman declined to comment.
The latest report follows an article published last week in the FT quoting Coach principals that they were looking for acquisitions in Europe, and possibly outerwear experts.
Burberry has been the subject of takeover speculation for the past six months as it restructures its back-end operations and tweaks its strategy to adjust to new consumer and tourist spending patterns.
Next summer it will welcome a new chief executive officer in Marco Gobbetti, who will work alongside Christopher Bailey. Bailey will remain as chief creative officer and take on the new title of president.
In late October, Burberry Group’s shares were up 6 percent after reports from the financial blog Betaville that Coach was possibly merging with the British company to create a $20 billion luxury firm.
Coach shares on Monday closed up 3.5 percent to $37.48. Andrea Resnick, the company’s interim chief financial officer, said Monday, “Coach has a long-standing policy of not commenting on rumors and speculation.” In October, market sources in the U.S. familiar with the workings of the two companies called the merger talks “silly.”
Further, industry sources said Monday that if the approaches from Coach were serious, Burberry, a FTSE 100 company quoted on the London Stock Exchange, would have had to inform the financial markets.
Earlier this year, there was media speculation about a takeover of Burberry. The share price spiked because one shareholder had increased its stake. Since then, Burberry has been the subject of takeover speculation, but much of that was before the appointment of Gobbetti as ceo.
Coach’s name comes up because its ceo, Victor Luis, has been fairly vocal about doing another acquisition on the heels of its successful purchase of the Stuart Weitzman footwear brand in 2015 for $574 million. Luis told WWD last month that he doesn’t have any specific timing in mind, only that the acquisition be the right one for the company and be a great brand and one where Coach can leverage its global supply chain infrastructure and skill set of its management team to “add value” to Coach’s business.