Disposal will enable management to focus on Argos
GUS, parent company of Argos and Homebase, intends to demerge its remaining stake in luxury fashion brand Burberry on December 13 through a one-off dividend payment to shareholders.

GUS chairman Sir Victor Blank said the demerger would allow the group to consolidate its retail offer. He said: 'The demerger of our remaining stake in Burberry is another major step in focusing GUS on fewer activities. Distributing our stake to existing shareholders will enable them to participate directly in the exciting growth opportunities we see at Burberry.'

As part of the demerger, each GUS shareholder holding stock on December 13 will receive 305 Burberry shares and approximately 859 new GUS shares for every 1,000 shares they own.

The demerger will enable the US conglomerate to 'simplify the management of GUS by substantially eliminating the need to deal with Burberry matters'. It will allow management to focus on catalogue business Argos and highly profitable consumer credit arm Experian.

Burberry posted steady interim results this month. Outgoing chief executive Rose Marie Bravo, who is credited with reviving the brand, will hand over to Liz Claiborne executive vice-president Angela Ahrendts on July 1. Bravo will remain at Burberry as vice chairman.