Is fashion giant Ralph Lauren set to join the Gucci stable?

Ralph Lauren shares flirt with their highest level in a year amid gossip that company may be takeover target for French owner of Gucci

Shares in fashion giant Ralph Lauren have been flirting with their highest level in a year amid speculative gossip that the company may be a takeover target for the French owner of Gucci. 

Speculation has been mounting that Ralph Lauren, known for the Polo player emblem on its shirts, has seen takeover interest from a predator. 

City sources have heard rumours the French luxury goods group Kering – run by Francois-Henri Pinault, the billionaire husband of Hollywood actress Salma Hayek – could be the company interested in acquiring Ralph Lauren. 

Iconic: Ralph Lauren creations have made the company a target for buyers

Kering is said to be on the lookout for a large deal after its closest rival Louis Vuitton owner LVMH, run by the billionaire Bernard Arnault, bought upmarket jewellery brand Tiffany & Co last year for $15.8billion. 

City sources have also linked Kering with a potential takeover of Compagnie Financiere Richemont, the owner of luxury jeweller Cartier. 

Ralph Lauren started out in 1967 designing men’s ties from a room in the Empire State Building in New York and made deliveries to stores himself. His company has grown into one of America’s biggest fashion houses, worth almost $9billion. 

Ralph Lauren and Kering both declined to comment. 

Ralph Lauren’s shares closed at $122.20 on Friday after falling to just $61 in April last year.