LVMH to sell Lacroix label to US group

7th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 7 (AFP) - French luxury group LVMH is poised to sell its loss-making fashion house Christian Lacroix to the second-biggest US duty-free retailer Falic Group, the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur reported Friday on its website.

PARIS, Jan 7 (AFP) - French luxury group LVMH is poised to sell its loss-making fashion house Christian Lacroix to the second-biggest US duty-free retailer Falic Group, the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur reported Friday on its website.

The divestment plan was presented Wednesday to Christian Lacroix's works committee, according to Nouvelobs.com.

But the French couturier told AFP that he "did not negotiate anything" with future partners, expressing surprise at the report.

LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault, who launched the Christian Lacroix label in 1987, was reported to have decided to sell the unit - whose sales never took off - in order to focus on brands with greater growth potential.

The luxury group had been debating the future of the label for several months, but until last summer, there was no talk of selling the house.

An industry source who requested anonymity said the decision to sell the Lacroix label had likely been taken last autumn.

The French couturier had been notified of the decision and was "deeply hurt by the cavalier way his house was sold", Le Nouvel Observateur said.

LVMH was reported to have told the magazine that the designer had been informed of the decision and that talks were underway but that the sale had not yet been completed.

But Lacroix countered: "I'm very surprised by what's happening, by the scope of the leaks in the press and the details in the information that is circulating.

"One day I met some people who were introduced to me as future partners, but I did not negotiate anything."

The designer said he was busy working on his haute couture collection for spring-summer 2005, which he will unveil in Paris on January 25.

Lacroix is also the designer for the Italian label Emilio Pucci, which is also controlled by LVMH. He is due to unveil ready-to-wear collections for both Pucci and his own label in the coming months.

"We'll see what happens when the time comes," he told AFP.

LVMH was unavailable for comment.

Until now, the only talks known to be under way were on the renewal of Lacroix's contract - direct discussions between Arnault and the designer that were reportedly tense.

The Falic Group, which has annual sales of USD 620 million (EUR 470 million), is controlled by the Falic brothers.

Lacroix said one of the people he met was one of the three Falic brothers.

Separately, LVMH said its friendly takeover of Scottish whiskey maker Glenmorangie had been successfully completed.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article