Milchan runs up Puma stake to 25%

Monarchy/Regency Enterprises founder Arnon Milchan — whose interests lie primarily in film, television and music — has doubled his equity in the German sports accessories brand Puma AG.

Milchan’s office announced Tuesday the boost in Monarchy/Regency’s Puma holdings from 12.5% to 25%. Milchan’s initial purchase a year ago cost him $60 million and gave him the option of acquiring a second stake of approximately the same size.

It was not clear whether Milchan, who was in Berlin and unavailable for comment, would open up product placement venues for Puma sneakers and sportswear in his company’s movies. At a recent welcoming ceremony for Milchan on the Fox lot, where his New Regency Prods. is to set up in June, Milchan was outfitted head-to-toe in Puma gear.

“We are very excited by the immediate strengths and the long-term growth potential of Puma,” Milchan said in a statement. “The brand has amazing recognition worldwide, and in analyzing Puma, we found it to be the brand with the greatest growth potential in the sports industry.”

Puma, based in Herzogensurach, Germany, generates about $800 million in annual sales. The company is hoping to increase its market share in the U.S.

Under Milchan’s guidance, Monarchy/Regency has produced more than 50 films, including “Pretty Woman,” “JFK,” “Free Willy” and “L.A. Confidential.” In September, Fox invested more than $200 million for a 20% stake in Monarchy/Regency.

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