Labelux Seaching for Acquisitions

Labelux CEO Reinhard Mieck said current portfolio first priority, but looking for new brands to add.

MILAN — The new chief executive officer of Labelux Group said the Vienna-based holding company was looking to snap up brands to add to its burgeoning luxury stable.

This story first appeared in the March 1, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Reinhard Mieck, who took his post in January, said the group’s first priority was to grow its existing labels — Bally, Derek Lam, Solange Azagury-Partridge and Zagliani — following a tough year for the luxury sector.

“Apart from this, we are also clearly looking around for further candidates to join the portfolio,” Mieck told WWD on the sidelines of a Labelux presentation during Milan Fashion Week.

“We are looking at companies here and there once in a while,” said Mieck. “If we find something that fits, we might do it this year or next year.” The executive said the acquisition could be in the apparel or accessories fields.

Mieck said sales for the group’s four brands had improved in the last four months, though it was still too early to call a recovery.

At Derek Lam, sales fell 30 percent last year as a whole, though 2009 also marked the opening of the brand’s first store, located in New York City, and the launch of its first advertising campaign, ceo Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann said.

“Now we have the factories, we have the quality, we have the price point. What we’re still missing is the push — that’s why the advertising is so important, that’s why [having] our own stores is so important,” Schlottmann said.

Demand is improving, with sales of the 2010 pre-fall collection up 30 percent versus the same period last year.