Puma Surges to Seven-Month High on PPR Stake Speculation

Puma SE, Europe’s second-biggest sporting-goods maker, surged to a seven-month high in Frankfurt trading amid speculation PPR SA plans to increase its stake in the company.

The shares rallied 4.2 percent to 240.95 euros at the close of trading, the highest price since June 21. The volume of shares changing hands was more more than triple the three-month average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

PPR owns an 82.4 percent stake in Puma and the Paris-based company’s managing director, Jean-Francois Palus, became chairman of the Germany firm in December.

“The market is speculating that PPR will continue to buy shares, with a view to getting to 95 percent and then to de-list,” said David Noble, an event sales trader at Louis Capital Markets in London. “Puma-PPR is an ongoing story, they have bought shares in the past and will continue to do so opportunistically.”

Paul Michon, a spokesman for PPR, declined to comment on the speculation today. Palus said in July that buying Puma’s outstanding shares was “not a priority.”

Puma shares had advanced 2.9 percent this year through yesterday, versus a 5.4 percent rally for rival Adidas AG.

“Adidas shares have had a good run, therefore on the flip side Puma could just be catching up today,” said Noble. “In a tough market for consumer goods, brands have a better margin, which is why luxury stocks have done so well.”

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