© Reuters. LANVIN COULD PASS UNDER CONTROL QATARI OR CHINESE
by Pascale Denis
PARIS (Reuters) – Lanvin, critical financial situation, is in discussions with the conglomerate chinese Fosun fund, and the qatari Mayhoola, are both interested in an acquisition of a majority stake in the French fashion house, said to Reuters sources close to the matter.
“Fosun and Mayhoola want to take over the business, but the owner had not yet decided. The discussions are continuing,” said one of the sources.
Negotiations should, however, lead quickly, because the company will be short of cash at the end of the month of February, said another source.
Reuters had revealed that the critical financial situation of the claw had prompted the auditor to alert the court of commerce of Paris, as its sales were in free fall and that its cash amounted to € 15.9 million at the end of December 2017. and
The fund is qatari, the owner of Valentino and Balmain, had already wanted to buy Lanvin in 2014 for approximately 400 million euro offer which had been rejected by its owner, the business woman chinese Shaw-Lan Wang, who holds 75% of the capital of the claw.
“It is clear that with the evolution of the situation, the amount will not be the same,” according to a source, who said that the swiss businessman Ralph Bartel, the holder of the balance of the capital, wished to remain a shareholder.
The teams of Fosun, the owner of the Club Mediterranean, visiting this weekend sewing workshops, has indicated one of the sources.
In this context, Michèle Huiban, former director-general replaced last November by Nicolas Druz, a close relative of Shaw-Lan Wang, is on the way out.
Nobody was reachable in the immediate future at Lanvin, Fosun or Mayhoola for comment on this information.
To revive the claw, whose sales have dropped 33% in 2017 after a plunge of 23% in 2016, and of which the losses in 2017 are projected to exceed 30 million euros, the buyer would have to make a very large overhaul of the strategy and to recruit a designer talented to give it back its luster lost, points out an industry professional.
After the departure of its couturier featuring Alber Elbaz, in 2015, the collections of the fashion designer Bouchra Jarrar were not able to convince.
The replacement in July 2017 by Olivier Lapidus, known to have designed furniture for the soldeur Gifi or wedding dresses for the brand Pronuptia, had been perceived in the sector as a threat to the positioning and image of luxury of the oldest French fashion house still in activity.
According to the website Fashion Network, Alber Elbaz has obtained ten million euros of damage and interests in the litigation that pitted him against Lanvin on the terms of his departure.
(With Sarah White, edited by Jean-Michel Belot and Emmanuel Jarry)