Is Lanvin looking for a buyer to take on a majority stake?

Before the Christmas break, speculation about Lanvin's future was running rampant as the label tried to deal with an increasingly critical financial situation. Rumors were further stoked by the fact that Bouchra Jarrar's successor as the brand's Creative Director, Olivier Lapidus, did not appear to have won buyers over with his first collection, presented last Sepetember. Amidst these doubts, reports have emerged that the oldest French couture house still in operation is seeking a buyer for a majority stake.


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A model takes to the catwalk in a piece from Olivier Lapidus' first collection for Lanvin - © PixelFormula

According to a number of sources cited by WWD, Lanvin is currently in talks with various investors, with the intention of selling a majority stake in the company. The label is reportedly hoping to close a deal shortly, otherwise it may be facing a liquidity crisis. 

"We do not wish to comment at this time. They are rumors, assumptions. We will be able to give more information soon but, for the moment, we have nothing to say," a representative of the brand told FashionNetwork.com.

Nicolas Druz, recently appointed Deputy CEO, made a statement in December, guaranteeing that "long-term financial and industrial solutions, not reliant on raising more capital, will be found before the end of March."

Among the potential buyers, the name Mayhoola Group stands out. The Qatari royal family's investment fund already showed interest in the luxury house in 2015 and renewed advances at the beginning of 2017. The fund, which already owns Valentino, Balmain and Pal Zileri, would no doubt jump at the chance to add a prestigious French brand to its portfolio. 

Taiwanese billionaire Shaw-Lan Wang, who controls 75% of Lanvin (the other 25% being held by Swiss businessman Ralph Bartel), has always refused to let go of the house. She could, however, be forced to change her mind, having failed to find a solution to save the sinking brand. 

Lanvin has been struggling since the departure of Creative Director Alber Elbaz. The company saw its sales fall by 23% in 2016, to 162 million euros, and reported a net loss of 18.3 million euros in 2015, after a profit of 6.3 million. This was followed by sales nosediving by 32.9% in 2017, with a turnover of 96.9 million euros, and losses which are reported around the 27 million mark, according to sources cited by Reuters. 

Translated by Robin Driver

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