Arnault gets upper hand in Gucci battle

BERNARD ARNAULT, the billionaire French businessman, yesterday appeared to gain the upper hand over his bitter rival Francois Pinault in the battle for Gucci, the Italian designer group.

A court in Amsterdam last night partly blocked a deal between Mr Pinault and Gucci which was designed to undermine attempts by LVMH, the champagne- to-suitcases group run by Mr Arnault, to gain control of the company.

Gucci had stunned investors on Friday when it announced a deal to sell a 40 per cent stake in the company to Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, the retail group controlled by Mr Pinault, in return for a $3bn cash injection which valued Gucci at $75 a share.

The court yesterday blocked provisions of the deal which would have allowed PPR to appoint three new directors to Gucci's board, giving the French group control of a key strategic and financial committee. It also restored voting rights to LVMH's 34.4 per cent shareholding, which would have been diluted. However, the ruling gives a green light for PPR to take its shareholding in Gucci.

Gucci said yesterday it would "seriously consider" an offer for the company, pitched at $81 per share, which was tabled by LVMH on Sunday. The two companies are due to start negotiations on the proposed takeover in the next few days.

LVMH made the bid after Gucci's board rejected an earlier offer of $85 a share, which was conditional on the company abandoning its deal with PPR. Gucci said it could not accept the bid because it did not apply to all its shareholders.

Under the terms of the revised offer, LVMH is effectively offering to pay Mr Pinault $240m more for his stake than he agreed to pay for it on Friday. However, it is unclear whether Mr Pinault will walk away or decide to launch a full takeover bid himself.

The moves follow another twist in the battle for control of Gucci, which has dragged on for more than six months. In another dramatic day Domenico de Sole, Gucci's chief executive, and Pierre Gaudet, an LVMH board member, faced each other in a crowded courtroom in Amsterdam, where Gucci's shares are listed. Mr Gaudet told the court LVMH had been "shocked and disappointed" by Gucci's deal with PPR, which was announced on the morning that Gucci and LVMH had been due to start negotiating about board representation for the French group.

But Mr de Sole defended the move: "We have turned Gucci from a company that was almost bankrupt to a multi-billion dollar enterprise," he said.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

Reach Volunteering: Charity Treasurer

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin