Coach and Kors: rumours spark stock exchange speculations. Spade: “Anyone buying us?” asks one of the investors

That’s what happens when the shareholder attacks the management publicly. The US fund of investment, Caerus Investors, has sent a letter to the board of Kate Spade to invite the brand leaders to start looking for a buyer. The fund (which holds 0.03% stakes of the brand) blamed the current management’s inability to produce margins: companies of the same level, reports the letter according to Fortune magazine, increased profits. From the top management of Kate Spade, which in the third quarter registered constant declining sales, the answer is diplomatic: “We listen with interest to the suggestions of our shareholders”. There is currently a turmoil in the luxury world which translates into a tendency of selling when a brand does not perform as expected. This was the case, for example, of Michael Kors, with rumours speculating that LVMH group might have set eyes on the brand. However, it might be just speculations and nothing more. Luca Solca (Exane BNP Paribas) declared to La Conceria that the hypothesis was “unlikely”, while Bloomberg dismissed the claims by saying that for the French luxury giant this move was not  very convenient. While the US market for luxury products is slowing down (for the past 20 months, until March 2016, the sale of accessories marked a weak growth trend: + 0.3%), for LVMH it would not be cost effective buying a brand (which already was in its portfolio until 2003 with 30% of shares) whose shares value has increased after being listed on the Stock Exchange five years ago. It is to believe that the luxury galaxy will experience high-end mergers and consolidations. About a month ago a rumour broke about a possible acquisition of Coach by Burberry. The rumour was never confirmed nor dismissed/ So far, however, the only certainty  is only one: when a rumour sparks, the quotations of distressed brands tend to go to the ceiling.



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