Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Osborne: UK public finances will need adjustment after Brexit

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

"A Europe of the People" (minus the UK)

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Seven African countries' economies at risk over Brexit decision

Read more

THE DEBATE

Britain votes out: What next?

Read more

#TECH 24

The 'fintech' revolution

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

A certified 'palace': How hotels strive for excellence

Read more

#THE 51%

In her own image: Women in Art

Read more

REPORTERS

World War I: When northern France was on German time

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Ugandan city still scarred by Lord's Resistance Army atrocities

Read more

Culture

Italian group is frontrunner in bid for Christian Lacroix

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-28

Borletti, the Italian retailer, has emerged as the early favorite to acquire Christian Lacroix, the French fashion house that sought protection from creditors in May, according to Lacroix’s court-appointed administrators.

AFP - Italian retailer Borletti emerged Monday as the early favourite to take over the Christian Lacroix fashion house, in administration since early June, its court-appointed administrators said.
   
A rival, well-trailed offer placed by Bernard Krief Consulting (BKC) was said by administrator Regis Valliot to be "unsatisfying and disappointing" both for its financial terms and in its plans for Lacroix's 125-strong workforce.
   
BKC responded by saying it would study holding plans by Lacroix's owners, the US duty free giant Falic, before submitting an "improved" offer which it said would see jobs retained double to "around the hundred."
   
The consulting group also said it would explore a tie-up with the Borletti Group, a major retailer which bought up French fashion retailers Printemps in 2006 on top of existing operations in Italy and Germany.
   
Two further unidentified offers of a symbolic euro in value were also received on the deadline day for formal expressions of interest, but were judged "inconsistent."
   
An aide to Valliot said the preliminary Borletti offer, which is backed by Lacroix himself before being finalised by the end of August, was the one "deemed the most serious."
   
A final decision is expected in September, with a six-month extension of the administration likely to be agreed on Tuesday.
   
Created in 1987 with the backing of the global luxury leader LVMH, which sold the house to Falic in 2005, the house of Lacroix made a loss of 10 million euros (14 million dollars) last year on sales of 30 million euros.
   
Under the company restructuring plan, 112 of its 125 employees would lose their jobs. Borletti's offer enviseages "almost half" being kept on, according to Valliot.
   
A member of the Lacroix works committee, scheduled to meet again on Tuesday afternoon, said the Italian proposal "sounds like good news."
   
Lacroix himself, who met Friday with France's Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand, is due to meet Tuesday with Industry Minister Christian Estrosi, the latter's office said in a statement.
   
Amid disappointment that no other big luxury group, like former Lacroix parent company LVMH's arch rival PPR which owns Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, or Hermes, had shown interest in taking over, the French government is seeking to stimulate rescue interest.
   
Consultants Meric et Associes, appointed by the works committee, have recommended an upmarket ready-to-wear line instead of the existing luxury one to run alongside the house's haute couture.

Date created : 2009-07-28

COMMENT(S)