Luxury conglomerate PPR to sell Fnac: newspaper

PARIS Sun Oct 7, 2012 2:58pm EDT

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PARIS (Reuters) - French luxury group PPR (PRTP.PA) is preparing to sell its book and CD retailer Fnac and online fashion store La Redoute, Le Journal du Dimanche wrote on Sunday, as part of a strategy to concentrate on luxury and sports brands.

The paper cited several unnamed sources saying the board of the company headed by Chief Executive Francois-Henri Pinault would meet this week to approve the plan.

A PPR spokesman declined to comment on the report.

The company wants to exit its retail operations in order to focus on other high-profile brands, which currently include fashion labels Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent and sports names Puma and Volcom.

Pinault said last week that PPR would make an announcement about the planned sale of its Redcats mail order business before disclosing third-quarter results on October 25.

On its website, Le Figaro confirmed the JDD report but added that it would involve a spin-off in which PPR shareholders, were they to approve the deal, would receive shares of a newly listed company, FNAC, on the French stock exchange.

That could occur as early as the end of the first half of 2013, if approved, Le Figaro said.

Fnac, which operates about 154 stores around the world, has long been a headache for PPR as consumers turn to the Web to buy both music and books.

Early this year, Fnac announced plans to cut 80 million euros ($105 million) from its budget as it axed 500 jobs in France and abroad.

PPR has similarly tried to streamline La Redoute, cutting jobs by nearly a half since late 2008.

($1 = 0.7657 euros) (Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Mark Potter, Bernard Orr)

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