ARTEMIS PAYS $239.2 MILLION FOR AOBA LIFE

PARIS — French businessman Francois Pinault is just as bullish on Japan as he is about luxury goods.
Pinault’s holding company, Artemis, announced Friday it had bought bankrupt Japanese insurer Aoba Life. Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but it is believed Artemis paid an estimated $239.2 million for the Japanese company.
A spokesman for Pinault said the investment represented Pinault’s confidence in the recovery of the Japanese market and the insurance industry there.
Through Artemis, Pinault controls the diversified distribution group Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, which has holdings that include the Printemps department store chain, the Redcats mail-order group and a 42 percent stake in Gucci. Through Gucci, PPR plans to build a new luxury pole via acquisitions.