Richemont has no interest in selling, but it does confirm Kering’s interest. The first contact allegedly happened over one year ago. Johann Rupert, president of the Swiss group, stated that the company has invested a lot and collected much, to just end up in the hands of another or merge. If that were to happen, all shareholders would suffer. So, even after Kering’s courting, “Richemont will remain autonomous”, firmly stated the group.
Richemont will remain autonomous
“Kering’s first contact – said Mr. Rupert during a call with the Financial Times – was long before news appeared online. It wasn’t like “we want to buy you out”, but rather “why don’t we work together?”: this type of approach was used on us by at least 3 other people”. Nothing to do, then, with what was reported by the blog Miss Tweed, which is dated last January. According to the blog, François-Henri Pinault offered Mr. Rupert to merge, but the offer was never presented to Richemont’s board.
No and no
During the call, Mr. Rupert told one of the journalists: “why aren’t you asking the same questions to other people? Why to us? As I have told you, the answer is no”. WWD write that Mr. Rupert admitted “getting along well” with Kering’s owner and specifically with Francois-Henri Pinault, but that there is no way that would bring him to sell the group. “We already collaborate with Kering for eyewear, and we will do so with others”. Mr. Rupert also discussed the future of AZ Factory after the disappearance of Alber Elbaz. Simply put, Richemont is talking with Alex Koo, a long-term partner of the stylist and with family members on how to proceed. “They must express their wished: it would be disrespectful to comment on this as of now”, he concluded.