In a joint announcement, the two firms confirmed the anticipated split, which will see Kering selling its 50 percent stake to Stella McCartney Ltd.
“It is the right moment to acquire the full control of the company bearing my name. This opportunity represents a crucial patrimonial decision for me. I am extremely grateful to Francois-Henri Pinault and his family and everyone at the Kering group for everything we have built together in the last 17 years. I look forward to the next chapter of my life and what this brand and our team can achieve in the future,” McCartney said in the statement.
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, echoed the sentiment that this is the right moment for the Stella McCartney brand to go it alone. “I am extremely proud of what Kering and Stella McCartney have accomplished together since 2001. I would like to thank Stella and her team wholeheartedly for everything they have brought to Kering—far beyond business. Stella knows she can always count on my friendship and support.”
Speculation about the split intensified right after the new year. No details were released about how the deal was financed, but according to the Telegraph, some have assumed that McCartney’s father, Paul, might have facilitated the transaction.
Though the ownership arrangement has ended, the two companies will continue their affiliation. McCartney will remain on the board of Kering Foundation, which works to stop violence against women. The firms will also continue to collaborate when it comes to issues surrounding sustainability.
The Stella McCartney brand has become synonymous with sustainable practices. The designer famously shuns using any animal products in her collections.
Kering, which operates the Gucci, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta brands among others, has been restructuring its business to focus on luxury exclusively. In January, the fashion conglomerate announced it would reduce its stake in Puma by distributing 70 percent of its shares to investors.