image: Burberry

image: Burberry

The richest man in Belgium wants out of Burberry. 92-year old Belgian investor Albert Frere is selling his entire 27.6 million share stake in Burberry, his firm Groupe Bruxelles Lambert confirmed on Tuesday. According to Reuters, the move to unload the 6.6 percent, $705 million holding comes amidst “a period of management upheaval at the British fashion house,” including the departure of creative director (and former CEO) Christopher Bailey and welcoming of former Givenchy head Riccardo Tisci, along with former Celine CEO Marco Gobbetti. 

Frere disclosed a 3 percent stake in Burberry in February 2017, thereafter increasing his ownership to 6 percent in November. In addition to Burberry, Brussels-baased Groupe Bruxelles Lambert maintains investments in a range of companies, including adidas and spirits brand Pernod Ricard.

The Burberry stake held by Frere will be disposed of via a private placement managed by Goldman Sachs. The news of the transaction sent the British luxury stalwart’s shares down 7.7 percent to $23.61 in early morning trading on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, as TFL was the first publication to report, Burberry is set to face off in court against Target over the retail giant’s “repeated, willful, and egregious misappropriation of Burberry’s famous and iconic check trademarks.”