Puma races into luxury

Puma store


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The German sportswear maker Puma has welcomed a multi-billion dollar takeover offer from the French luxury group PPR. From the European Desk, Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: PPR, whose brands include Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, has bought a 27 percent stake in Puma and it's offered to buy the rest of the company for $7.1 billion.

Puma is practically purring with delight.

The German company describes PPR as the perfect partner. Justin Urquart-Stewart of Seven Investment agrees that the two companies should work well together.

JUSTIN URQUART-STEWART: You take the combination of Puma which is very well-known obviously for its sportwear and its shoes but then add the style of the luxury goods brand management that PPR is so good at and actually you're dealing with a very logical fit.

The link between fashion and sportswear is well-established in the West, but says Urquart-Stewart, the real growth market is China, where he reckons the demand for trendy sportswear will boom in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the London Bureau Chief, providing daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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