Investment firm Bluebell Capital has acquired a stake in French luxury group Kering and is now pushing for changes within the company, according to sources familiar with the matter. Bluebell is also reportedly exploring the possibility of a tie-up with Richemont, the parent company of Cartier. Kering heavily relies on its star brand Gucci for success and has been under pressure to diversify its revenue sources.

Upon news of Bluebell’s involvement, Kering’s shares saw a surge of 7%. It was revealed that Kering had engaged in discussions with Bluebell executives and sought advice on how to defend against activist investors. Bluebell has a track record of advocating for change in various companies, such as Glencore, Bayer, Vivendi, Danone, and Richemont.

In response to Bluebell’s presence, Kering has already made some changes within its organization. The luxury group recently rearranged its top management team in an effort to revive Gucci’s sales. However, Kering declined to comment on these developments.

Speculation about a potential tie-up between Kering and Richemont has been ongoing for years. However, sources suggest that the prospects may be more favorable this time compared to a previous rejected approach by Kering. This is due to Kering’s weakened position resulting from a decline in market capitalization in contrast to Richemont.

Last September, Bluebell proposed the appointment of Francesco Trapani, a former executive of LVMH, to represent shareholders of publicly traded A shares on Richemont’s board. However, Richemont, controlled by chairman Johann Rupert, rejected the proposal. Rupert had previously stated in May that he declined a merger with Kering.

Bluebell Capital Partners was established in 2019 by Giuseppe Bivona and Marco Taricco with the objective of introducing shareholder activism to Europe. The firm has since been actively advocating for change within companies.

Useful Links:
Kering Official Website
Cartier Official Website