Qataris poised for €1.6bn takeover of Printemps

Paris

"Arab spring" is about to gain a new meaning. The famous French department store, Printemps – spring in French – is about to be taken over by a Qatari consortium for a reported €1.6bn (£1.3bn).

The investors, operating through Disa, a Luxembourg investment company, are said to have guaranteed the future of the 16 Printemps stores in France and their 3,400 employees.

Galeries Lafayette, the neighbour of the flagship Printemps store on the Boulevard Haussmann in the centre of Paris, failed in an estimated €1.8bn bid to take over its ancestral rival in December.

According to documents sent to the French news agency AFP, a deal has been reached for Qatari investors – possibly the state investment arm of the super-rich Gulf state – to buy the 70 per cent stake in Printemps owned by Deutsche Bank since 2006. As part of the deal, the Qatari investors will also buy the Italian company, Borletti, which owns the remaining 30 per cent.

The documents seen by AFP say that Disa will become the sole owner of Borletti Group and this will in turn be the sole owner and operator of Printemps Holding Luxembourg.

Qatar has already invested extensively in Britain and France in recent years, including the purchase of the Harrods department store and the Shard building. In France, the Qatari state has purchased the football club Paris Saint-Germain and several luxury hotels, including the Royal Monceau, Concorde La Fayette and Hôtel du Louvre in Paris, the Carlton and Martinez in Cannes, and the Palais de la Méditerranée in Nice.

According to the publicly announced strategy of the emirate, Qatar plans to become an indispensable part of the world economy and community by ploughing its oil and gas earnings into high-profile sport, culure, education and leisure enterprises.

A meeting of the Printemps staff committee was called in Paris yesterday to discuss the takeover. The documents seen by AFP say the current chief executive, Paolo de Cesare, will remain in his job. The contracts of the 3,400 employees will be respected.

Printemps was sold by the group PPR, owned by family holding of the French tycoon François Pinault, seven years ago for just over €1bn. Its turnover has since increased by 30 per cent to €1.45bn in 2011.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn