Vilebrequin acquired by G-III Apparel
Vilebrequin, the luxury swimwear and resort wear brand, has been acquired by G-III Apparel Group for 85.5 million.
In addition to the purchase price, the deal provides for up to an additional €22.5 million of contingent future payments based on the achievement of certain growth related performance objectives. The purchase was partly funded by G-III’s newly expanded $450 million bank facility.
With a substantial majority of Vilebrequin's current revenues derived from sales in Europe and the US, G-III believes the brand is capable of "significant" worldwide expansion.
Headquartered in Switzerland, Vilebrequin has been owned since 2007 by private equity fund Fashion Fund I B.V. The retailer sells its products through a network of 185 owned and franchised retail stores, as well as through select wholesale distribution. In the year ended 31 December 2011 the company reported sales of €45.1 million
G-III has also announced that it has appointed Roland Herlory as Vilebrequin's new chief executive. Herlory joins Vilebrequin from Hermès where he was managing director for the Latin American and Caribbean territories.
In addition, Christian Blanckaert will become chairman of Vilebrequin’s newly established advisory board. Blanckaert is currently the chairman of the board of Petit Bateau and also serves on the board of Moncler.
As part of the transaction, Adu Advaney, co-founder of Fashion Fund I B.V., has joined Vilebrequin’s board as vice chairman.
Morris Goldfarb, chairman and chief executive of G-III Apparel Group, said: "An opportunity to acquire a preeminent luxury brand such as Vilebrequin does not happen very often.
"We believe that this brand is very powerful and expect to add more retail locations throughout the world, as well as develop the business beyond its heritage in men’s swimwear, accessories and resort-wear. We have assembled a world class luxury brand management team, led by Roland Herlory, who we are confident can extend and expand Vilebrequin into a diversified global luxury brand."
Herlory added: "We believe that the brand is positioned extremely well to expand its business into more points of sale throughout the world. In the near-term, we will also work on further developing men’s accessories and resort-wear. It is our intention to leverage our strong brand and the additional resources G-III will provide to quickly transcend our leadership position in the men’s luxury resort business."
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