Translated by
Nicola Mira
Dec 22, 2016
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Destination Maternity merges with Orchestra-Prémaman, new group worth $1.1 billion

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Dec 22, 2016

Four years after acquiring the Belgian chain Prémaman, French children’s and maternity wear specialist Orchestra is preparing its North American landing. The French group, founded in 1995, will merge with US maternity wear group Destination Maternity, owner also of the Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod and Jessica Simpson Maternity brands. 

Since 1995 Orchestra has bought Kazibao, Babycare, Pomme Framboise, Dipaki, Baby 2000, Home Market and Prémaman. - Orchestra

The merger makes the new corporation, known simply as Orchestra, "one of the most important international distributors of maternity and children's wear and baby products," as stated by the group. The new corporation is worth $1.1 billion in aggregate sales (€1.05 billion) and generates an aggregate EBITDA of $76 million (based on 2015 figures). 

On Tuesday 20th December, the two groups finalised the merger agreement via a share exchange, and the transaction will be completed by mid-2017. Orchestra shareholders will own approximately 72% of the new corporation, while Destination Maternity ones will own the remaining 28%. 

Destination Maternity will provide Orchestra with a platform which will ease its entry into the US market, regarded as the largest, most profitable childrenswear market worldwide, worth about $25 billion. According to the French group, it will furnish "a cutting edge sales infrastructure, a remarkable customer pool of pregnant women and young mothers, a US store network through which it will be possible to launch the Orchestra brands and a strong American management team with plenty of local know-how."

The Destination Maternity store in Virginia Beach, USA -Destination Maternity - Destination Maternity

Orchestra on the other hand will contribute to the Destination Maternity brands' growth, by giving them access to a network of over 560 stores worldwide, chiefly in Europe. Only 20% of Orchestra stores currently offer a range dedicated to mothers-to-be.

The transaction is also expected to generate cost synergies between $15 million and $20 million per year in the three years following the merger. These economies will be possible "thanks to Orchestra's highly effective direct procurement organisation, operational for more than 15 years and consisting of over 200 employees working at 6 purchasing offices."

"Our customer target's convergence will make it easier to penetrate markets and distribute our products, and will cut costs, commercial ones too, while at the same time boosting revenue. The two companies together will experience a level of growth and profits far higher than that which could be generated by each on its own. We are sure that this merger will allow us to become more competitive on the constantly evolving distribution market, benefiting both our shareholders and other stakeholders in the long run," said Pierre Mestre, the founder and President of Orchestra, who will become the new corporation's President.

The newly formed Orchestra corporation's headquarters will remain in Montpellier, France, while Destination Maternity will be based as before in Moorestown, New Jersey, USA.

Autumn/Winter 2016-2017 collection Destination Maternity

The Destination Maternity group was founded in 1982 and currently operates 1,229 retail outlets in the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and the UK. Of these, 526 are branded stores and 703 are retail corners in department stores. The group also has 239 franchisees worldwide. In 2015, its sales were worth $499 million. As for Orchestra, last year it recorded a revenue of $582 million, and currently operates 292 directly-owned stores and 256 franchised ones. 

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