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Kering to sell La Redoute in MBO

Luxury brand house Kering has entered into talks to sell La Redoute and delivery network Relais Colis as part of a management buy out.

La Redoute chair and chief executive Nathalie Balla, and Eric Courteille, chief administrative officer of Kering’s mail-order division Redcats, are poised to take over the catalogue retailer in deal supported by the companies’ managers.

The buyers will create a new company and would invest in it in a “personal capacity”, acquiring all the shares of La Redoute, Redoute International and Relais Colis.

Co-chairs Balla and Courteille will jointly hold the majority shareholding, with the remainder of the capital owned by a team of managers.

Kering, which owns brands including Gucci, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney, will recapitalise the businesses before handing them over to ensure they have a “healthy financial position backed by a significant cash surplus” as well as an updated IT system and plans to cover interim losses.

Balla and Courteille said they would accelerate the transformation of the company. “This plan will get all La Redoute and Relais Colis staff working together for the success of the business. It intends to keep La Redoute’s business in its historic employment area and minimize as much as possible its impact on jobs,” they said in a statement.

Private equity firms The Gores Group, HIG Capital and OpCapita, in addition to French developer Altarea Cogedim had previously been rumoured.

Revenue in the sports and lifestyle division of Kering which includes La redoute, streetwear brand Volcom and golf brand Cobra, dropped 6.7% to €184.4m (£153m) for the nine months to September 30.

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