Burberry share prices drop 7.2% as Belgian billionaire offloads £520m stake

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Belgium’s richest man Albert Frère has announced plans to offload his entire £520 million stake in Burberry, sending share prices plummeting 7.22 per cent.

Frère’s holding company Groupe Bruxelles Lambert has said it would sell its 27.6 million shares in the British fashion retailer, representing a 6.6 per cent stake.

This follows a strong first half of the year for Burberry’s shareholders, who have enjoyed a 26 per cent rise in stock prices since February.

Groupe Bruxelles Lambert said “the disposal of GBL’s entire stake in Burberry and (was) part of the implementation of the group’s portfolio rotation strategy”.

It added that the money raised would go towards future investments and comes just over a year after Frère first took an interest in the company.

In February last year, Frère declared a three per cent stake in Burberry, which prompted a rise in share prices due to his reputation for shaking up businesses.

This was later increased to four per cent over the summer, and rose to over six per cent in November.

Christopher Bailey, the long standing chief creative officer who is largely credited with transforming Burberry form a struggling luxury brand to the powerhouse it is today, was replaced by Riccardo Tisci in March.

Tisci, along with the Burberry’s new chairman Gerry Murphey who was appointed just a month later, are expected to drive further changes at the brand, continuing to push into the luxury online sector.

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