French luxury group Kering, formerly PPR, is giving six candidate buyers access to the books of La Redoute, the final distribution brand still on display. CEO François-Henri Pinault is expecting concrete offers by September.
“Three investment funds, three industrials”
According to Pinault three investment funds and three industrial groups have shown interest to take over La Redoute. Those six will have time until the middle of July to study the books and they can make an offer until September. Pinault is positive the deal will be done before the end of the year.
The numbers of the e-commerce company however are not that good: because of the crisis and bad weather La Redoute is said to have made a loss of about 25 million euro over the past six months. Less than two months ago the company announced it was seizing all activities in Germany and Austria. The French group, which started as a mail-order company back in 1928, can no longer fight off the competition from pure players such as Zalando.
Unions: “No takeover by company from sector”
In talks with the unions CEO Pinault said he is "not expecting a big cheque", but he did promise he would personally look into the takeover. The unions urged Pinault to sell the company to an industrial partner that is complementary, rather than a company from the sector (e.g. 3Suisses). They fear La Redoute will be completely gobbled up and that it will eventually disappear.
Following the recent public offering of Fnac, La Redoute is the final distribution channel of PPR, which recently changed its name to Kering, that is still looking for a buyer. Earlier Kering already sold the American and Scandinavian branch of Redcats and its French chains Vertbaudet and Cyrillus. In the future Kering will focus completely on luxury, sporting goods and lifestyle.