In light of a handful of recent acquisitions of fashion brands in the U.S. – including, Coach's $2.4 billion acquisition of Kate Spade, and Michael Kors’ move to scoop up Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion – much has been made of how conglomerates are built. With that in mind and on the heels of our recent publication of an LVMH acquisitions timetable), here is a look at the fashion-focused timeline behind the building of Kering, the French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, that is parent to brands ranging from Gucci and Bottega Veneta to Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen.
Note, the following timeline is in no way exhaustive of the acquisitions and entities that exist in relation to Kering (or what was formerly called PPR or Pinault-Printemps-Redoute), and instead, focuses exclusively on fashion (and a few beauty and jewelry-related) entities. Also worthy of note, while many of the acquisitions below were technically made by the Gucci Group, Kering’s ownership of the group makes those companies assets of Kering.
Kering as we know it today got its start in 1963 when François Pinault established the Pinault Group, which, from the outset specialized in timber trading, distribution and processing. The Pinault-Printemps Group was born in 1992 when the Pinault Group acquired Au Printemps SA, the French department store chain. In 1994, the group was renamed Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, following the merger of La Redoute – a French multi-line retailer specializing in ready to wear apparel – within the group.
1999: Gucci – In 1999, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute purchased a controlling 42 percent stake of the Gucci Group for $3 billion. Later in 2003, Kering raised its stake in the Gucci Group to 67.6 percent, and again in 2004 to 99.4 percent.
1999: Yves Saint Laurent – The fashion house, founded in 1961 by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Berge, was acquired by the Gucci Group in 1999. The Gucci Group purchased Sanofi Beaute, owner of the Yves Saint Laurent brand, from PPR (which had purchased it 5 years earlier) for about $1 billion.
1999: Sergio Rossi – Gucci Group acquired a 70 percent stake in the Italian footwear brand, before taking full control in 2004. The group ultimately sold off the Sergio Rossi brand to Aston Martin-owner, Investindustrial, in December 2015.
2000: Boucheron – The Gucci Group acquired a 100 percent stake in the French jewelry and watch house Boucheron in 2000 from its Swiss-based owner Schweizerhall Holding AG for about $145 million.
2001: Bottega Veneta – In February 2001, the Gucci Group acquired a 66.7 percent stake in Bottega Veneta and in July 2001, acquired an additional 11.8 percent in the Italian luxury goods and fashion house, raising its interest in the company to 78.5 percent.
2001: Balenciaga – The Gucci Group acquired a 91 percent stake in Balenciaga, which was founded in 1919 by Cristobal Balenciaga, in July 2001.
2001: Stella McCartney – In 2001, McCartney launched her eponymous label (after leaving her post as creative director of Paris fashion house Chloé), and that same year, announced her partnership with Gucci Group, the latter of which acquired a 50 percent interest in the parties’ joint venture. In March 2018, it was revealed that McCartney would buy out the 50 percent stake held by Kering in order to create a fully independent brand.
2001: Alexander McQueen – The Gucci Group acquired a 51 percent stake in Alexander McQueen, a British luxury fashion house founded by designer Alexander McQueen in 1992, in 2001 as part of a joint venture.
2007: Puma – Kering seized new growth in 2007 with the purchase of a 27.1 percent controlling stake in the German multinational company Puma, a world leader in sport and lifestyle founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler, followed by an increase in stake to 62.1 percent on completion of a tender offer. In January 2018, Kering announced plans to spin off the German sports brand to its shareholders to focus squarely on its luxury brands.
2011: Brioni – Brioni, an Italian menswear couture house founded in 1945, was acquired by Kering in November 2011.
2011: Volcom – In 2011, Kering announced its acquisition of Volcom Inc., which includes the Volcom and Electric surfwear brands.
2012: Yoox – In 2012, Kering announced the creation of a joint venture with Yoox S.p.A. “dedicated to e-commerce for several brands of the Luxury Division.” As Kering reported in July 2013, “The online stores of all the six brands included in the joint venture established in August 2012 by Kering and YOOX were successfully launched by 30 June 2013, marking the first important milestone of the joint venture.”
2012: Qeelin – In December 2012, Kering announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Chinese fine jewelry brand Qeelin, which was founded in 2004.
2013: Christopher Kane – In January 2013, Kering acquired a 51 percent stake in the London-based designer Christopher Kane’s eponymous label, which was founded in 2006.
2013: Pomellato – In 2013, Kering acquired a majority stake in the Italian jewelry company, Pomellato, founded in 1967.
2013: Altuzarra – In September 2013, Kering took a minatory stake in the American luxury women's ready-to-wear and accessories brand, Altuzarra, which was founded in 2008.
2013: Tomas Maier – In November 2013, Kering and Tomas Maier (who, in addition to the lead of his eponymous label, is the Creative Director of Bottega Veneta) announced the formation of a joint venture.
2014: Ulysse Nardin – Kering acquired the 171-year old Swiss haute horlogerie brand Ulysse Nardin in 2014.