The GLAS bond group aims to sell 29% of the capital of the fashion company SMCP

PARIS (Reuters) – Bond group GLAS has taken a 29% stake in French fashion company SMCP, whose brands include Sandro and Maje, and will then seek to sell the stake, which could lead to a change in owner at SMCP.

FILE PHOTO: A Sandro label is pictured on clothing inside a Sandro luxury clothing store, operated by the SMCP Group, in Paris, France, December 21, 2017. REUTERS / Benoit Tessier

SMCP’s ownership was the subject of speculation after a unit of its majority owner Shandong Ruyi defaulted on certain bonds, which resulted in the installation of GLAS.

SMCP shares were up 2% at 10:00 GMT.

“SMCP recalls that this situation does not affect its own financing and operations. The creation of value for all of the group’s stakeholders (shareholders, employees and other partners) is at the heart of the company’s strategy. SMCP and its teams remain fully engaged in the implementation of the One Journey strategic plan until 2025, ”SMCP said in a statement Friday.

SMCP added that the bond group GLAS, in addition to aiming to sell its 29% stake in SMCP, would also seek to change the board of directors of SMCP.

Shandong Ruyi, who owned around 53% of SMCP, once had ambitions to create an empire that would rival that of luxury giant LVMH.

He began buying labels in 2015, a buying spree that would see him acquire London tailor Aquascutum, Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes and Parisian fashion house Cerruti 1881, but struggled under the weight of the debts resulting from these acquisitions.

The sprawling Chinese conglomerate’s financial woes worsened with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, and it failed to secure funding for a $ 600 million deal to buy the Swiss shoe company and of luxury accessories from Bally last year.

SMCP’s fortunes contrasted with that of its owner Shandong Ruyi, who recently rebounded from the coronavirus crisis, with sales up 54.6% organically, fueled by China’s appetite for contemporary French fashion. , after a drop in sales of 24%. Last year.

Isabelle Guichot recently replaced Daniel Lalonde, longtime President and CEO of SMCP. Shandong Ruyi acquired the group from private equity firm KKR in 2016.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mimosa Spencer; Editing by Jason Neely and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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