Kering, the French luxury group that controlled Puma for a while, has held “preliminary discussion” about a potential takeover of Moncler, according to Reuters. The Italian luxury outerwear brand is more profitable than Puma, and it is growing as fast as some of Kering's luxury brands, including Gucci, Yves Saint-Laurent and Balenciaga. The report sent Moncler's stock market capitalization up by 12 percent, to a new record of about $10 billion, as observers felt that Kering's digital capabilities and its powerful real estate bargaining power could help accelerate the growth of its direct-to-consumer operations, closer to the levels enjoyed by its fashion brands. Kering's strength and know-how in footwear and other sectors may also help Moncler to diversify its product range. A combination with Moncler would also help Kering to use its large treasure chest to diversify into a more technical segment of the fashion market, close to outdoor and skiwear, without the dilution that Puma had exerted on its accounts. The report about Kering's interest in the brand has not been completely denied. Moncler's chief executive, Remo Ruffini, said that he has maintained frequent contacts with investors and other “sector participants,” including Kering, about potential strategic development opportunities. However, he stated that there is no concrete offer under consideration. Still, his comments sent Moncler's stock further up to nearly €10.7 billion. More in SGI Europe.