May 8, 2018 / 7:11 PM / 7 months ago

Belgian billionaire Frere to sell Burberry stake

Belgium businessman Albert Frere leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris, October 29, 2008. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer (FRANCE)

(Reuters) - Albert Frere is selling his entire stake in Burberry (BRBY.L), the Belgian billionaire’s Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL) said on Tuesday, after a period of management upheaval at the British fashion house.

Proceeds from the disposal would help GBL to pursue new investments and rebalance its portfolio, it said in the statement without elaborating.

Burberry, famed for its trench coats and trademark check in camel, red and black, recently parted company with Christopher Bailey, the designer who turned it into a global brand and later became CEO, and last year appointed Marco Gobbetti as its new CEO as the group seeks to kick-start sales growth.

Frere’s stake is owned by GBL subsidiary GBL Energy, which also has investments in French drinks company Pernod Ricard (PERP.PA) and oil major Total (TOTF.PA).

GBL and GBL Energy said they would sell their Burberry stake of about 6.6 percent through a private placement, with Goldman Sachs acting as the bookrunner.

Burberry shares closed at almost 18.85 pence on Tuesday, up about 0.5 percent.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman

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