LONDON — Tanner Krolle, the British luxury accessories brand, is on the block, according to sources here.
This story first appeared in the December 14, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The company’s U.S.-based private equity owner, Albion Investors, quietly put the company up for sale in September and since then has been in talks with potential suitors, including Concetta Lanciaux.
Lanciaux, a former LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton executive who now runs her own consultancy, is said to be spearheading a possible deal and may already have a management team in mind. On Thursday, Lanciaux could not be reached for comment at press time and a Tanner Krolle spokeswoman declined to comment on the sale.
Earlier this week, however, Tanner Krolle issued a statement saying: “The Tanner Krolle board has initiated a strategic refocusing of the business to re-inforce the company’s commitment to its 150-year-old British heritage of classic luxury leather goods for men and women.”
The statement added: “Tanner Krolle will continue to sell its entire offering of men’s and women’s luxury leather goods through its flagship store in Burlington Gardens, London, as well as through Harrods and selected high-end retailers.”
Martin Mason, chief executive officer, and creative director Manuela Morin unexpectedly quit the company last month after an apparent rift with Albion over strategic direction and funding-related issues. It was the second time in two years that Albion locked horns with — and ejected — Tanner Krolle management.
Tanner Krolle was founded in 1856 by Franz Frederick Krolle. Its clients have included English royals, Indian maharajas and American presidents. Princess Diana took bespoke Tanner Krolle luggage on her honeymoon, while Princes William and Harry went off to boarding school with Tanner Krolle baggage in tow.
The brand was owned by Chanel until 2002, when it was purchased by the London-based fashion executive and investor Guy Salter and the private equity group Rupert Hambro and Partners. They brought in Albion about three years ago.