Billionaire Albert Frere plans to sell his £520 million (US$705 million) stake in Burberry a little more than a year after disclosing an initial investment in the trench-coat maker.
Frere’s Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL) is offering 27.6 million shares in a private placement via Goldman Sachs International, according to a statement on Tuesday. The firm said proceeds from the sale of the stake, equal to 6.6 per cent of the London-based luxury company, will help it make new investments.
“This transaction would represent the disposal of GBL’s entire stake in Burberry and be part of the implementation of the group’s portfolio rotation strategy,” Groupe Bruxelles Lambert said.
Burberry’s shares have climbed 11 per cent in the past month, after CEO Marco Gobbetti tapped former Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci as its creative director in March. Tisci succeeds Christopher Bailey, who is preparing to leave after 17 years, with the new CEO pushing the company in an upmarket direction.
GBL’s stake in Burberry is its largest holding in a company in which it doesn’t have a representative on the board.
Frere, a long-time business associate of LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, disclosed a 3 per cent stake in Burberry in February 2017. The investor increased his holding to 6 per cent in November. Groupe Bruxelles Lambert holds investments in a range of companies, including Adidas and Pernod Ricard.
Burberry shares rose 0.5 per cent Tuesday before the announcement.