New York—As the dust settles from the Tiffany & Co.-LVMH merger, another big-name luxury acquisition may be in the cards.
Fashion blog Miss Tweed
reported Sunday that Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault made an “informal offer” to Richemont chairman and controlling shareholder Johann Rupert in January.
The offer was rejected and not brought to Richemont’s board, said Miss Tweed, citing “informed sources.”
“Richemont declines to comment on media or market speculation,” a spokesperson said in a statement to National Jeweler.
Kering declined to comment on the reports.
Rumors of a possible merger between the two luxury giants have been swirling for some time, but neither party has officially expressed interest.
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Pinault told reporters in February
that while Kering was in a position to explore potential mergers and acquisitions, the company’s main focus was on organic growth.
When Pinault was asked to address the Richemont rumors specifically, he said, “It's a group that we know well, it's one of our partners that gave us a license for their eyewear so we are in regular contact. But it's a group that is controlled by a family, as is Kering, and there is nothing else on this matter."
In an analyst note, UBS said a deal between Kering and Richemont “would make sense from a strategic perspective” and could spell trouble for LVMH and challenge its standing in the luxury market.
“Combining the two mega brands of the soft and hard luxury industry, Gucci and Cartier, could address the perceived higher fashion risk of Kering and the perception of mismanagement of Richemont’s smaller brands in its portfolio,” it said.
Analysts noted that a deal would require the Rupert family behind Richemont to relinquish control and said this is “likely to be the key obstacle in any negotiations.”