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PPR Suspends Auction Process for Redcats Online Retailer

PPR SA, the French owner of luxury brands such as Gucci, suspended a sale process for its Redcats online retail business as the deepening European sovereign debt crisis squeezes finances.

The sale isn’t canceled, Paul Michon, a spokesman for Paris-based PPR, said today. Redcats, which sells home furnishings as well as fashions, had initially attracted interest from buyout firms including TPG Capital, BC Partners Ltd. and CVC Capital Partners Ltd., people with knowledge of the matter said in July.

PPR is shelving the sale partly because the sovereign debt crisis has made it harder for buyout firms to borrow, said two people familiar with the process. That could have weighed down the price prospective bidders were willing to pay, said the people, who declined to be identified as the deliberations were private.

The deadline for indicative bids was Sept. 21, the people said. Some buyout firms have had a harder time raising debt financing to fund takeovers as investors stopped buying high yield bonds, with companies raising the least amount of leveraged loans last month since 2008.

Redcats’s brands include La Redoute and OneStop Plus. PPR fell 2.95 euros, or 2.6 percent, to 110.60 euros today in Paris trading.

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