Stella McCartney to buy brand in full from Kering

PARIS (Reuters) - Kering and fashion label Stella McCartney said on Wednesday they had agreed to end their 17 year partnership, as the British designer behind the brand buys the 50 percent owned by the French luxury goods group.

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They did not disclose financial terms for the deal.

McCartney, known for her understated designs and commitment not to use fur or leather, had an option until March 31 to buy out half of her label under the terms of the partnership.

“It is the right moment to acquire the full control of the company bearing my name,” McCartney said in a statement.

A spokesman for the label declined to comment on how the acquisition would be financed.

Following the agreement, Kering will continue to lend some support and services to the brand for a year, and the split will be final by the end of the first quarter of 2019, according to a spokeswoman for the French group.

McCartney will stay on as a board member of the Kering Foundation, which works to stop violence against women, and the companies said she would collaborate with Kering “in the field of sustainable fashion” - an area that has become her hallmark.

London-born Stella McCartney, daughter of the Beatles’ Paul McCartney, first made her mark at Richemont-owned fashion label Chloe.

She launched her eponymous label in partnership with the Gucci Group, formerly a division of what is now Kering, in 2001.

Kering, run by Francois-Henri Pinault, the scion of the group’s founding family, does not break out earnings for the brand, but it is a much smaller contributor to sales than labels such as Gucci or Balenciaga.

The conglomerate’s latest financial report said revenue growth at Stella McCartney was buoyant but had slowed in 2017 compared to previous years.

The split with Stella McCartney comes as Kering prepares to spin off German sportswear label Puma to its own shareholders, as it focuses more squarely on its high-margin luxury brands and builds up those with a high growth potential.

Stella McCartney presented her latest collection for next autumn and winter at Paris’ sumptuous Opera Garnier in early March. It was the label’s first show catwalk show to mix men and women’s clothing, and some designs such a jacket were made from materials like alter nappa, an alternative to leather.

Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Alison Williams