Qatar Luxury Group sells Le Tanneur majority stake to Tolomei

Founded in 1989, Le Tanneur could soon have a new captain at the helm. Le Tanneur & Cie and the firm's majority stakeholder, Qatar Luxury Group (QLG), which bought an 85.6% chunk in the business in 2011, announced on Friday the pair have entered into exclusive sales talks with Tolomei Participations. In March 2016, QLG first signalled plans to sell off its stake, as reported by Les Echos, but now all is confirmed.

Le Tanneur boutique in Paris' Carrousel du LouvreLe Tanneur Le Tanneur - Le Tanneur

As for the terms of the deal, Tolomei will possess a majority stake in the French leather goods brand. Lead by Eric Dailey, Tolomei is a leading leather industry player in France, and already has investments in a number of brands and firms across the sector (Pare Gabia, Renaud Pellegrino and PK-214).

The new deal, which looks to establish a minimum recapitalisation of 13.3 million euros for the brand has been accepted by the firm's advisory board as of June 21, according to a statement from Le Tanneur, 

"This recapitalisation and development plan looks to significantly improve Le Tanneur's prospects, allowing the repayment of QLG 's 9.5 million euro shareholder loan to date, while having the means to continue development and to partner with Tolomei's recognised expertise and experience in the manufacturing and distribution of luxury leather goods," read the press release.

The whole operation will take place in three phases. First up, a capital increase reserved for Tolomei at a price of 2.5 euros per share for a total of 10.8 million euros. To compare, in 2011, QLG had parted with 6.51 euros per share at the takeover bid that had seen it take control of the French company. Under the new terms, Tolomei Participations will hold 50.2% of the company's capital and voting rights. Qatar Luxury group's stake will fall to 42.6%, ceasing its majority hold.

In the second phase, Tolomei will a simplified tender offer on all Le Tanneur shares. Tolomei said it "does not intend to implement a mandatory withdrawal from Le Tanneur."

Lastly, the plan is based on "a cash increase of 2.5 million euros." QLG holds onto the possibility of participating in this, with a capital injection worth 1 million euros. The whole process should wrap up during the last quarter of the year. 

Le Tanneur & Cie boasts 50 stores across the globe, after shuttering several stores last year. It claims 80 concessions within major department stores and is stocked in 300 multi-barnd retailers worldwide.

In 2016, the group saw revenues fall 5.2%, down to 54 million euros. Half of the group's business comes from subcontracting to other brands, the other from its Le Tanneur and Soco brands. The experience in brand management and the expertise of Tolomei's distribution networks will serve as new assets for the French company in order to move forward.

Translated by Benjamin Fitzgerald

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