AFP - A group of Chinese companies are in talks for a possible takeover of the brand name of French fashion giant Pierre Cardin, a company official said Monday.
"There is such a matter. Mr Cardin is considering selling the China and the overall global brand," Pierre Cardin's chief representative in China Fang Fang told AFP.
"He is not in talks with only one company. We are now in talks with quite a few interested parties ... not necessarily Chinese companies."
The Shenzhen Commercial Daily said Monday the Jiansheng Trading Company in south China's Guangdong province had offered 200 million euros (280 million dollars) to acquire the brand.
The newspaper quoted Jiansheng company officials as saying they hoped a deal could be completed within a month.
Fang refused to confirm the names of the Chinese bidders, but said a joint bid between two companies from Guangdong and Zhejiang had been made.
"This is the price that reports are saying they offered," Fang said. "Other bidders have offered higher and lower prices."
She said existing licensees of Pierre Cardin, some of whom have worked with the company for more than 20 years, would take priority.
Jiansheng officials were unavailable for immediate comment.
Chinese press reports said a series of companies were in talks including Huhao Corporation from east China's Zhejiang province.
Pierre Cardin arrived in China in 1978 and was one of the first Western fashion houses to enter the nation after Beijing embarked on economic reforms and opened up to the outside world.
"Many Chinese only have three images of France: the Eiffel Tower, General de Gaulle, and Pierre Cardin," said the Xinmin Daily in a report on the possible acquisition by a Chinese company.
"As one of the first international brands to enter the Chinese market, Pierre Cardin is deeply embedded in the hearts of Chinese."