Report: Private Equity Firm Makes Bid on Lancel

LancelParis—Even though owner Richemont, the Swiss luxurygoods conglomerate, won’t confirm intended sales, sources said Wednesday that private equity firm Change Capital made a non-binding offer for Lancel, its French leathergoods brand.

According to a report by Reuters, Lancel is one of the brands—supposedly along with Chloe—that Richemont intends to sell due to poor performance.

Bernard Fornas, Cartier’s ex-chief executive and now Richemont’s co-chief executive, is now in charge of Lancel but he declined to comment on the sale process. Last month, Richemont apparently hired Nomura Holdings Inc., the investment bank, to look into selling Lancel to private equity or strategic investors.

A presentation of Lancel was made last month to several private equity firms, including including Permira, PAI Partners, Eurazeo, Apax and Fung Brands, but none made a bid.

Change Capital is a private equity firm set up by Luc Vandevelde, the former chairman at Carrefour and Marks & Spencer, which owns a majority stake in French ready-to-wear brand Paule Ka and previously invested in Jil Sander.

“Change Capital made a non-binding offer,” a source close to the matter told Reuters.

Lancel, which posted an operating loss of 10 million on revenue of 135 million euros in the year ending June 2013, apparently lacks strategic and marketing direction and Change Capital made an offer due to its experience in turning around businesses, sources said.

Change Capital and Lancel declined to comment.


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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology.