French fashion chain Naf Naf bought by Turkish group SY International
A verdict has been reached in the case of ailing French womenswear label and retailer Naf Naf, which had been placed into receivership on May 15. On June 19, the trade court in Bobigny, France, gave the green light to the label's acquisition by SY International, via the latter’s French subsidiary, SY Corporate France. The bid by the Turkish group, a supplier of Naf Naf, prevailed over the offer put forward by French group Beaumanoir.
SY International plans to retain 944 of the Parisian label's 1,170 employees, and 200 of the 235 stores operated by Naf Naf will remain operational, including 75 franchised stores.
In recent weeks, both SY International and Beaumanoir put forward improved bids. Naf Naf's receivers and employee representatives favoured the offer made by the former, while public officials leaned towards the latter.
SY International's Selçuk Yilmaz says merger of Naf Naf and SY Corporate France creates “fully integrated group combining speed, style and fashion”
SY International has been an industrial partner of Naf Naf since 1986. The group operates production sites in Tunisia and Turkey, and was involved in another successful acquisition bid in France. Last November, it was one the investors that took over womenswear label Sinequanone. SY International, led by the brothers Selçuk and Seyfi Yilmaz and by Elif Kara, operates a vertically integrated business, a model favoured by Naf Naf's current CEO Luc Mory. Talking to the AFP agency at the end of May, Mory said that this model makes for “a very agile supply chain, ensuring quick deliveries at the best price in the shortest possible time.”
“We have been working together for over 30 years, and making an offer to buy [Naf Naf], a chain much loved by its customers, was the obvious thing to do. The merger of Naf Naf and SY Corporate France creates a fully integrated group combining speed, style and fashion,” said Selçuk Yilmaz, president of SY Corporate France.
In a press release, the Beaumanoir group, which is vying to buy another troubled French fashion retailer, La Halle, expressed its disappointment for the court's decision, saying it is “convinced its offer was the right one, and would have enabled the company to recover, guaranteeing a bright future for the brand and over 700 of its employees.”
Naf Naf was founded by the Pariente brothers in 1973 and was bought by French fashion group Vivarte in 2007. Ten years later, Vivarte put Naf Naf on the market to raise cash, selling it to Chinese group La Chapelle in 2018. This year, La Chapelle pulled out, precipitating Naf Naf's crisis, one that was aggravated by the Covid-19 emergency. Filing for receivership was a move designed to facilitate a new, much-needed change in ownership for Naf Naf, whose annual revenue is currently in the region of €200 million.
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