Gucci owner Kering to spin off majority stake in Puma

Luxury group Kering says it intends to spin off a majority stake in sports apparel maker Puma by distributing the stake to its own shareholders.

The Paris-based company said Thursday it would ask shareholders to approve distributing 70 percent of Puma's outstanding shares, which would reduce Kering's stake to 16 percent from 86 percent. That would permit Kering to focus on its luxury business through brands including Gucci, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney.

Kering shareholder Artemis would wind up holding a 29-percent stake in Puma.

Kering Chairman and CEO Francois-Henry Pinault said the distribution would "enable our shareholders to directly benefit from Puma's future value creation."

The distribution would increase Herzogenaurach, Germany-based Puma's free float, or shares that are available to be traded, to 55 percent of the company.