Source AP ©

French luxury goods company PPR owns 62 percent of Puma AG

French luxury goods company PPR said Tuesday it owns 62.1 percent of Puma AG following an extended offer period for the German sportswear company.

PPR bought 27.1 percent of Puma in April and announced its offer to buy the outstanding shares for EUR 330 (US$454.77) each, valuing the company at EUR 5.3 billion (US$7.3 billion). The public offer opened in May and ended July 11.

"We are very pleased with the final results of our offer to the Puma shareholders who have sent a strong signal of support for the transaction," PPR Chairman and Chief Executive Francois-Henri Pinault said in a statement.

Analysts had initially said the EUR 330-per-share offer was too low, and some investors hoped for an increase. In May, however, these expectations were lowered when Puma decreased its 2007 profit target, blaming lower than expected order intake.

"With the support of PPR we will ... invest in brand-building," Puma Chairman Jochen Zeitz said in a separate statement Tuesday. Puma management supported the bid, calling it "fair."

Puma, the world's third largest sportswear maker by sales, expects to benefit from cost savings and a better platform for its global expansion from the takeover.

Puma shares closed at on Monday at EUR 318 (US$438.24). PPR shares closed at EUR 130.84 (US$180.31).

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