Kering Group owners to acquire luxury French cruiseline company

Francois Pinault, owner of French luxury group Kering is reported to be in advanced negotiations to buy luxury cruise-ship operator Ponant from buyout firm Bridgepoint. If the purchase goes ahead, it will be through Artemis SA, the holding company of France’s billionaire Pinault family.

Bloomberg reports that the talks between Artemis and Bridgepoint are exclusive, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. Ponant may have an equity value of about €400 million and a deal could be announced by the end of this month.

A deal would hand Francois Pinault and his family another luxury lifestyle company, adding to assets such as auction house Christie’s and Bordeaux first-growth wine estate Chateau Latour. Artemis also controls Kering SA with its fashion brands such as Gucci and Saint Laurent. Pinault’s son, Francois-Henri, is chairman of Artemis and Kering.

Ponant is the only French cruise line and world leader in Polar cruising. The French company promotes that they offer exceptional destinations on small capacity ships embodying a lifestyle “à la française”: a travel concept that combines intimacy and curiosity, luxury and authenticity.

The yacht operator had €120 million in revenue last year, according to its website. Founded in 1988, Ponant operates a fleet of yachts that carried 23,000 passengers last year.

Ponant Cruiseline