(Refiles to fix spelling)
* Kering receives La Redoute bid of "entrepreneurial nature"
* La Redoute attracts management offer - source
* Kering to hold board meeting, works council on Wed -
* Kering says aims to announce sale by Christmas
By Pascale Denis
PARIS, Dec 3 Retailer Kering has
received four offers for its loss-making La Redoute mail order
unit and plans to hold a board meeting to choose a bidder on
Wednesday, sources said.
La Redoute is part of Kering's mail order business Redcats,
the bulk of which Kering has already sold off as it seeks to
transform itself from a retail group to a company focused on
luxury and sports brands.
The heads of La Redoute and Redcats, Nathalie Balla and Eric
Courteille, jointly submitted a bid at the end of last week, a
source close to Balla said, without giving financial details.
Another source familiar with the matter said Kering had
received a second "offer of an entrepreneurial nature", without
giving further information.
The two latest bids follow interest from an industry group
and an Anglo-Saxon investment fund, other sources said. Media
reports have cited real estate group Altarea Cogedim, as well as
The Gores Group.
"The (Kering) board has been summoned on Wednesday morning
concerning La Redoute," a source familiar with the matter said.
"This will be followed in the afternoon by an extraordinary
works council meeting to inform staff."
Kering declined to comment. The company has said it was
aiming to announce a deal by Christmas.
Altarea Cogedim and The Gores Group declined to comment.
Kering has injected more than 400 million euros ($542
million) into La Redoute since 2008 and would be ready to inject
at least another 300 million in order to cover its losses for a
few years more and finance its restructuring, sources close to
the matter have said.
Kering has said significant job cuts would be needed as part
of a restructuring of La Redoute, sparking protests from staff
and local politicians in northern France, as well as demands
from Lille's Socialist mayor, Martine Aubry, for guarantees over
Unions fear around 700 jobs are at risk. La Redoute has
around 2,500 staff in France, where the government is battling
unemployment at a near record 10.9 percent. It employed around
5,000 people in 2008, and has been hurt by ageing logistical and
IT tools, as well as the growth of online shopping.
Kering Chief Executive Francois-Henri Pinault told Aubry he
was ready to give investment support to any buyer and that he
would guarantee operations during La Redoute's modernisation,
the politician said last month.
She had criticised Kering for not doing enough to bring La
Redoute's logistics and IT systems, and staff training, up to
Kering began its transformation in 2006 with the sale of
retail chain Printemps when the group was still called PPR, an
abbreviation of Piinault Printemps La Redoute. Kering is
controlled by the Pinault family.
Kering issued a profit warning last month, blaming one-off
charges related to sports brand Puma's restructuring
and the disposal of La Redoute.
($1 = 0.7377 euros)
(Writing by James Regan; Editing by Mark John and Elaine