Qatari investors central to Le Printemps deal

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share

French luxury retail group Galeries Lafayette plans to link up with Qatari investors to make a counter offer for rival department store group Le Printemps, its CEO told French daily Le Figaro.

Galeries Lafayette chief executive Philippe Houze told Le Figaro he hopes Qatari investors will join Galleries Lafayette and drop their support for Italian businessman Maurizio Borletti.

Printemps is 70 percent owned by Deutsche Bank real estate investment unit RREEF and 30 percent by the Borletti Group, headed by Borletti.

A source close to the talks told Reuters that RREEF and the Borletti Group were in talks to sell Le Printemps to Qatari investors for up to 2 billion euros ($2.64bn).

"Borletti's project is simply to get Qatar to finance the acquisition since he does not have the funds himself," Houze was quoted by Le Figaro as saying.

The paper said Houze will propose a deal under which Qatar buys Printemps's real estate assets for one billion euros while Galeries Lafayette buys its operations for 800 million euros.

"We will contact the Qataris to propose that we buy Printemps together," Houze said, adding that he did not expect objections from antitrust authorities.

Qatar has bought a string of stakes in high-end retailing, fashion and luxury goods companies.

It bought London's Harrod's department store in 2010 for an estimated £1.5bn in 2010. Last year, the Qatari royal family acquired Italian fashion brand Valentino for 700 million euros.

Qatar's sovereign wealth fund also owns 8.7 percent of US jeweller Tiffany & Co, a stake of over 1 percent in French luxury group LVMH and a small stake in German sports car maker Porsche.

Qatar has close diplomatic and business ties with France.

It owns a number of buildings on Paris jewellery Mecca Place Vendome, minority stakes in companies such as waste and water management group Veolia Environnement, and controls leading French football club Paris St Germain.

Borletti, who owns Italian department store La Rinascente, bought Printemps together with RREEF from French retail and luxury group PPR for 1.1 billion euros in 2006.

Galeries Lafayette - whose flagship Paris store is right next to Le Printemps - had also made a bid then.

Borletti and RREEF have spent around 350 million euros on renovations and making Printemps more upscale. Printemps now has 16 stores and employs 4,000. Its 2011/12 turnover rose 13 percent to 1.45 billion euros.

RREEF had been looking to sell for months, while Borletti told Reuters in January he wanted to hold on to the business.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Women edge into Gulf boardrooms as economies, societies shift

Women edge into Gulf boardrooms as economies, societies shift

Amina al-Rustamani, CEO of TECOM Investments, is leading the...

2
Dubai mulls rule change to lure more domiciled funds

Dubai mulls rule change to lure more domiciled funds

Proposed rules would create a new class of funds in the Dubai...

Gulf's rift over Qatar may slow investment, reforms

Gulf's rift over Qatar may slow investment, reforms

Analysts suggest dispute may not hurt immediately but could impact...

Most Discussed
  • 54
    Three UAE women attacked with hammer at London hotel

    I really feel that Arabian Business.Com should now close this comments page. This should be all about sympathy for the families not what it is/has turned... more

    Wednesday, 16 April 2014 1:06 PM - Adrienne
  • 51
    Why Dubai isn't a plastic city

    What is definitely not a plastic city. The Arabs have a culture dating back to several centuries. 50 years back Dubai was just a fishing village. Today... more

    Tuesday, 8 April 2014 3:49 PM - P. MADHUSUDAN
  • 48
    DMCC boss Ahmed Bin Sulayem entertains Robert Mugabe in Dubai

    @fga ''However today, simply because he decided to dispossess a few white farmers of their land and redistribute to the poorer indigenous blacks'' more

    Sunday, 13 April 2014 3:02 PM - Matt Williams