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LONDON â¤” Compagnie FinanciÃ¨re Richemont, parent of brands including Cartier, Dunhill, Lancel and ChloÃ©, is set to report its first-half results on Friday morning, and there is no doubt that analysts and the press alike will be peppering company principals with questions about possible disposals in the firmâ¤™s soft luxury division.
However, according to an internal company memo seen by WWD and signed by Richemontâ¤™s chairman and principal shareholder Johann Rupert, there are no disposals or initial public offerings in the cards.
â¤½It has been widely speculated that CF Richemont is planning to sell/dispose of various maisonsâ¤¦We are not going to comment on press speculation but, as the controlling shareholder, it is my pleasure to confirm to you that I have no intention of disposing of any maison. We also have no intention of taking any of our maisons public through an IPO,â¤ the memo read.
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â¤½For over a quarter of a century, our shareholders have benefited from superior returns on their investments. This was achieved by careful planning and nurturing of the Brand Equity of our maisons.
â¤½As the controlling shareholder, I have always supported you, the Heads of the maisons. Our dividend policy has been prudent â¤” preferring to put the money to work inside the maisons.
â¤½Through carefully nurturing our resources we have today over euro 3.8 billion [$5.13 billion] on our balance sheet. Our shareholders expect us to build brand equity and to create goodwill, not merely to buy it. Let us continue to build more great maisons.â¤
WWD has reported, citing industry sources, that Lancel, Net-a-porter and ChloÃ© are being shopped around. Richemont has denied that Net-a-porter is for sale, and has so far declined to comment on other potential disposals.
Last week, Thomas Chauvet of Citigroup in London published a detailed report in which he said he expects Richemont to make a â¤½complete exitâ¤ from fashion and accessories in a bid to refocus on its hard luxury brands. The aim would be to forge a more â¤½homogenousâ¤ group that generates higher margins and capital returns.