Investors Thierry Le Guénic, Stéphane Collaert in talks to buy French lingerie label Maison Lejaby
French lingerie label Maison Lejaby is expected to change owner soon. On May 7, the label confirmed to FashionNetwork.com that exclusive negotiations have started between Maison Lejaby’s current proprietor, the Impala investment fund, and a pool of investors led by French businessmen Stéphane Collaert and Thierry Le Guénic.
Back in 2012, French entrepreneur Alain Prost bought Lejaby after a commercial court ruling, under intense media exposure in the run-up to the French presidential elections. Two years later, the Impala investment fund acquired a stake in the label, which had in the meantime been renamed Maison Lejaby. A few months after that, Alain Prost stepped down as president of Maison Lejaby, replaced by Impala's CEO Jean d’Arthuys.
Now, Maison Lejaby has entered into exclusive negotiations to change hands again, with Stéphane Collaert and Thierry Le Guénic together as the lingerie label's majority shareholders. To buy a 100% stake in the company, the two investors have teamed up with Isalys, a partner of and producer for Maison Lejaby, and private equity firm SIG, led by Franck Grimonprez. The value of the operation has not been disclosed, nor the current worth of Lejaby’s revenue, reportedly about €18 million. In 2017, the label announced its revenue had started to grow again.
Last March, Le Guénic, a former director of Vanessa Bruno, and Collaert, acquired sportswear label Chevignon, this time in association with the Royer group. They told FashionNetwork.com they are keen to invest in Maison Lejaby “for its history, its DNA and its expertise.” In a press release, they stated that “the operation could be finalised during the third quarter 2019.”
Since Impala bought a stake in Maison Lejaby, the label has worked to change its market positioning and to modernise its brand image, introducing new lines, new advertising campaigns, a new e-tail site and attracting a string of new clients. The brand is distributed in France via 450 multibrand retailers, 67 department store concessions and three monobrand stores, two in Paris and one in Lyon. A year ago, Maison Lejaby was looking to open another five franchised stores, but it now seems that it has not followed through with the project.
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