A new, huge merger in the luxury sector was on the cards between French Kering and Swiss Richemont, but the latter is said to have rejected the offer.
Based in rivalry
According to Reuters, which cites a message from specialist site Miss Tweed, Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault has sent his proposal directly to Richemont chairman Johann Rupert. However, the latter - who is also the controlling shareholder of the group - did not agree with the conditions and has supposedly not even discussed the proposal in the board of directors.
Speculations about a possible merger between the two luxury houses have been circulating for years, but these rumours have gained momentum in recent months - especially after major rival LVMH completed the acquisition of American jeweller Tiffany.
Kering, which owns Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent, is strong in fashion and leather goods. Richemont, with brands such as Van Cleef & Arpels and Jaeger-LeCoultre, is best known for watches and jewellery. A merger would therefore certainly make sense from a strategic point of view, but the complex family ownership structure at both companies is a major obstacle to what would be the biggest deal ever in the luxury sector.
Representatives for Kering and Richemont have refused to comment on the coverage.