French businessman Thierry Le Guénic buys Burton of London
In a new shake-up within the fashion distribution sector, French fashion group Omnium has parted ways with Burton of London. According to FashionNetwork.com sources, the group run by Philippe Lascar and chaired by Robert Lascar, has now sold the men's and women’s ready-to-wear retailer, which it bought in 1991.
Burton of London’s new owner is French businessman Thierry Le Guénic. The acquisition has been approved by the competition watchdog, which gave the green light after examining the documentation filed on September 30.
In early autumn, Thierry Le Guénic also bought furniture retailer Habitat from the Cafom group. Habitat operates 31 directly owned stores, generating sales worth approximately €100 million, but had been struggling financially for a number of years. In recent years, Le Guénic, in collaboration with Stéphane Collaert, has also bought Chevignon and Maison Lejaby, as well as footwear retailers Cosmo Paris and San Marina.
For a sum that has not been disclosed by the competition authority, Le Guénic has now acquired another significant retail network, with 125 stores across the whole of France.
FashionNetwork.com has contacted both the Omnium group and Le Guénic, but neither has yet responded.
Burton of London is a long-standing brand born in the UK in the early 20th century, where it built its tailoring reputation. The brand established itself also in France, with a subsidiary which was bought in 1981 by the Rallye group. Ten years later, the Omnium group took over the business, which at the time had 65 stores in France and generated a revenue of €84 million.
Last year, Anne-Laure Couplet replaced Thierry Perusat, who had been at the helm of the fashion retailer since 2016. According to documents filed with the trade court in September, Couplet has also become Burton of London’s president.
In spring, at the height of the lockdown in France, Robert Lascar told the Breton edition of business newspaper Journal des Entreprises that the company did have some cash resources, but they were limited, and he needed to cut inventory and purchases by 20% to 30%.
“Whatever happens, things won’t probably get back to normal before 2021,” he said at the time.
In 2017, Burton of London claimed a revenue of about €100 million, generated via some 130 stores. Before the acquisition, Omnium’s website indicated that the group had a consolidated revenue of €561 million, with 545 stores and 3,200 employees. Omnium’s portfolio also includes fashion retailers Devred 1902 and Bouchara.
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