Paris—What’s in a name? Plenty if you are one of the largest luxury and sports brand conglomerates boasting Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Puma and Volcom etc. in your cadre of businesses with cachet.
Evidently, PPR SA, the owner of those brands, now thinks its name no longer suits its business which has transformed from being dominated by supermarket, consumer goods and department stores into primarily luxury and sporting goods brands, some of the toniest ones around.
When the company was listed on the Paris stock exchange in 1988, is was known as Pinault SA, then as Pinault-Printemps followed by Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, later shortened to PPR.
Now Bloomberg News is reporting that PPR is preparing to re-brand itself as “Kering,” which means dry or dried in Indonesian.
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The rumor follows the announcement last week that PPR agreed to sell two home-shopping brands to a Swedish firm. The company also plans to spin off its Fnac media and consumer electronics chain and La Redoute, its online retailer. Once those businesses are gone from PPR’s stable, the company name will no longer reflect its businesses (having already sold off its Printemps department store chain in 2006).
By adopting a new name and re-branding, PPR would make it clear that the company with a 21.9 billion euros market value has transformed into solely a luxury and sporting good conglomerate—one that has a goal of hitting 24 billion euros (about $31 billion) in sales by 2020 from 9.7 billion euros last year.
The name change is supposed to be announced this month sources told Bloomberg, but a spokesperson for PPR declined comment on the speculation.
Meanwhile, whatever the company’s official name becomes, it likely will be continuing to invest in leading brands.
Just last week, in fact, rumors surfaced that PPR, along with Prada and Swarovski, were in takeover talks with Milan-based jeweler Pomellato SpA.
Pomellato cancelled plans to launch an initial public offering following the stalemate in Italy’s recent national elections. Instead, that “forces us to look into alternative courses of action, you have to look at other sources of capital,” Andrea Morante, Pomellato’s chief executive, told Bloomberg last week. www.ppr.com
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