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Galeries Lafayette to take control of jeweller Mauboussin

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AFP
Translated by
Barbara Santamaria
Published
today Jul 12, 2019
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Retail group Galeries Lafayette has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in jewellery firm Mauboussin together with its CEO Alain Némarq, supported by Mirabaud Asset Management.


Alain Nemarq, Mauboussin CEO, will soon own the jewellery brand together with Galeries Lafayette and Mirabaud Asset Management - AFP


“With this transaction, Galeries Lafayette Group will boster its historic expertise in the jewellery business and accompany a new phase in Maubousson’s expansion in close collaboration with Alain Némarq, who will continue to run the company,” the company said in a joint statement.

Mauboussin, a family business founded in 1827, was acquired by Swiss entrepreneur Dominique Frémont in 2002 and appointed Alain Némarq as chief executive. The 66-year-old CEO currently holds a 15.7% stake in the company, while the remaining 84.3% is owned by Dominique Frémont through his DPF holding company.

The new transaction is subject to the approval of the French Competition Authority, the groups said in the statement.

In March, Alain Némarq announced that he had entered into exclusive negotiations with the holding company that controlled the jewellery brand to buy a majority interest. He found a partner very quickly, said French newspaper Le Figaro, which was the first to report the deal on Friday.

Galeries Lafayette said it made sales of 4.5 billion euros in 2018. The group owns jewellery retailers including Galeries Lafayette-Royal Quartz Paris, Louis Pion and Guérin Joaillerie, as well as other brands including BHV and La Redoute. Meanwhile, the Mirabaud fund has recently acquired a stake in footwear brand Carel and Le Coq Sportif through a new investment fund dedicated to lifestyle brands with a strong identity.

Since joining Mauboussin in 2002, Alain Némarq has led a restructure and relaunch of the jewellery brand, which reported revenues of 75 million euros in 2018 and has 75 stores in France and in the world’s top capitals.

The business sells 60,000 jewellery pieces every year, and just under 25,000 watches. It also launched a high jewellery brand in 2017.

Over the past four years, the brand has been undergoing a relocation process to move its operations to France and Europe. About 30% of its production was previously produced in China, with 25% taking place in India and 20% in Thailand.

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