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Monday, October 25, 2021

Reuters: Qatar set to buy 100 percent of French department store Printemps

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After months of courting from French retail groups, Qatari investors appear set to buy 100 percent of famous French department store chain Le Printemps as early as this summer, Reuters reports.

According to documents viewed by the wire service, Qatari investors operating through Luxembourg-based Divine Investments have offered to buy the Borletti Group’s 30 percent stake in Printemps and the 70 percent stake owned by Deutsche Bank’s real estate investment unit RREEF.

Previously, Italian businessman Maurizio Borletti and RREEF had discussed selling 70 percent of Printemps to investors for some $2.64 billion. Then, Borletti had said he did not wish to sell his stake in the store, but he did not comment on this latest report, Reuters states. 

Last month, it was reported that rival French luxury retail group Galeries Lafayette was also courting Qatari investors, inviting them to drop their support of Borletti and instead consider their proposal.

But documents seen by Reuters indicate that the sale with Borletti will close by this summer:

Divine’s offer for Printemps includes a seven-year management contract with Borletti Management Group (BMG). It centers on “the provision of advice of a strategic and operational nature regarding the implementation of the business plan.”

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but according to sources close to the matter, BMG’s management fee would be equal to 1 percent of Printemps’s revenues. On top of it, would come a performance bonus linked to the department store’s sales growth.

The purchase of iconic Printemps would expand Qatar’s portfolio of high-profile investments and also further its business ties with France, most recently demonstrated through the country’s purchases of football club Paris Saint Germain and the Virgin-Monoprix building on the Champs Elysees, as well as four French luxury hotels.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala

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