NEW YORK — French bank Credit Agricole SA will tender its 8.5 percent stake in Gucci Group, elevating Pinault-Printemps-Redoute’s stake in the Italian luxury firm to 75.3 percent, a spokesman for the French retailer confirmed on Tuesday.
Credit Agricole is Gucci’s largest minority shareholder, and, after last year’s acquisition of Credit Lyonnais, France’s largest bank.
Last week, PPR launched a $2.5 billion stock put for the shares in Gucci it doesn’t already own. PPR will pay $85.52 a share during the put period, which is expected to expire April 29.
At the put price, PPR will pay $732 million for Credit Agricole’s position of more than 8.6 million shares. With the acquisition of Credit Agricole’s shares, PPR will be significantly closer to its goal of 100 percent ownership of Gucci. Once PPR secures ownership of 85 percent of Gucci’s stock, the luxury house will cease to trade on the New York and Amsterdam exchanges.
Credit Agricole assumed ownership of the Gucci stake when it acquired Credit Lyonnais in 2003. Credit Lyonnais originally purchased the shares from rival LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2001.
Gucci said last week it will host an exceptional shareholders’ meeting April 21 in Amsterdam to discuss PPR’s tender offer. The meeting is being convened in accordance with Dutch law, but no votes or actions are scheduled.
An announcement of the new Gucci chief executive officer that day is seen as a possibility, but PPR said that De Sole’s successor would be named before the completion of the tender offer at the end of April.