Semir: Who is the Chinese group readying a Kidiliz takeover?

Translated by
Erin Floyd
today May 4, 2018
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Chinese apparel group Semir, which is now readying its acquisition of Kidliz, may still be relatively unknown in France, but it's a heavyweight at home in China with a solid portfolio of womenswear, menswear and childrenswear labels. Founded in 1996 by billionaire entrepreneur Qiu Guanghe and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange since 2011, the family-owned group, worth an estimated 3.9 billion euros, is best-known for its eponymous private label, targeted at the 16-30 age range, and for Balabala, for the 0-14 age range. In 2017, the company recorded a turnover of 1.6 billion euros, of which 52.5% was from its childrenswear, which saw growth of 26.4 percent.

Photo: Balabala - Semir

Semir is stepping up its efforts in the Chinese childrenswear market, which is valued at 20 billion euros, a figure set to double by 2025 thanks to the easing of China's one-child policy. After signing a license agreement in March with American group The Children's Place, the acquisition of Catimini- and Absorba-parent company Kidiliz should enable the group to respond to the growing demand for premium childrenswear brands in China. Its flagship label Balabala, distributed at almost 4,000 points of sale in the country and touted as the market leader, has a mid-range positioning.

The deal with Kidiliz will also allow the group to reach to reach a combined revenue of 2 billion euros, therefore becoming the "number two company worldwide dedicated to childrenswear," according to a press release, nevertheless lagging the 2.8 billion euros in sales of American group, Carter's Inc.

Semir, which also distributes Korean womenswear label It Michaa and German brand Marc O'Polo in China and its satellites, has 8,000 monobrand stores.

Sarah Ahssen and Tong Wu

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