Luxury Giant Aims to Take Puma Higher

France's PPR has taken a 27% stake in the German sports powerhouse. The aim: a friendly takeover

John Horan vividly remembers the time, just seven years ago, when German sportswear maker Puma, was "pretty much a dead brand." It was during the dot-com boom and Horan, the publisher of industry newsletter Sporting Goods Intelligence, was running a conference for financial analysts. Presenting in one room was MVP.com, a hot online sporting-goods startup backed by the likes of John Elway, Wayne Gretzky, and Michael Jordan. "The analysts were hanging from the rafters," Horan recalls.

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