Last month, the fashion world was buzzing about the possibility of Stella McCartney buying out her business partner of 17 years, Kering, which currently holds a 50 percent stake in her namesake label. Well, it’s official!
Today, the buyout was confirmed, with Kering wishing McCartney well in a statement released after the close of the Paris and London stock markets. “It is the right time for Stella to move to the next stage,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering. “Kering is a luxury group that empowers creative minds and helps disruptive ideas become reality. I am extremely proud of what Kering and Stella McCartney have accomplished together since 2001. I would like to thank Stella and her team wholeheartedly for everything they have brought to Kering — far beyond business. Stella knows she can always count on my friendship and support.”
“I have had an incredible relationship with Kering, and first and foremost with the Pinault family, whom I consider to be great friends,” McCartney told WWD. “I’m incredibly close to them. We had such a successful business together, an incredible partnership. We never had any hiccups.” Still, when the opportunity to buy her company presented itself, McCartney could not resist. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she told the publication.
Indeed, McCartney has a long-standing clause in her contract with Kering giving her the option to purchase the company’s stake in her brand, but she had to exercise that option by March 31 of this year or, one would assume, lose it forever.
No word yet on how McCartney plans to finance the buyout. Rumors a month ago were that her father Paul would be bankrolling the deal, but that, apparently, is not the case. Nor is McCartney planning to raise funds through an IPO or take on any new business partners. At least, that’s what she is saying publicly. Although, according to WWD, unnamed “industry sources” say McCartney has been conducting exploratory talks with potential investors.
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