Investor Bluebell Capital Partners has clear ideas about the future of Richemont. Very clear: it wants to shake the Swiss group at the core. The activist fund is demanding that Francesco Trapani (ex-CEO of Bulgari and current president of Florence group) be put on the board. Moreover, it wishes the group to focus more on jewelry and watches (the so-called hard luxury segment) and thus liquidating fashion brands and e-commerce activities. Last, Bluebell Capital is proposing the group changes its name from Richemont to Cartier Group. The management team of the Swiss group meanwhile state that the proposals made by the investor will be presented to the group’s yearly general assembly on September 7th.
Bluebell owns just 1 million shares of Richemont A, for a value of 109 million Swiss francs. That’s the minimum amount for it to be able to ask for the insertion of its proposals into the discussion list for the yearly assembly. Richemont’s stocks are split in two classes, as explained by Borsa Italiana. A stocks are part of the Swiss Stock Exchange, while B stocks aren’t publicly traded and represent 9.1% of the capital. The latter are owned by the Compagnie Financière Rupert, which takes the name of the founding family of the group.
Bluebell wants to shake Richemont
The first request that Bluebell makes is to have on Richemont’s BoD, a specific and exclusive representative for A stocks’ possessors. The designated individual is Francesco Trapani. “We think there is no better person to contribute and add value to Richemont’s Bod”, said to WWD Marco Taricco from Bluebell. Trapani is one of Bluebell’s founders. He was CEO of Bulgari, he was on Tiffany’s board and is now president of the Florence Group. Bluebell wishes to imprint on Richemont a different direction from the current one. The Group should focus on hard-luxury and sell all other activities, including fashion and online ones. Bluebell even mentions a change in name for Richemont: Cartier Group, to identify itself as a pure hard-luxury company and focus the attention on the group’s largest and most profitable brand.