By  on March 30, 2010

PARIS — Lee Cooper has filed for the equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in France.

Known for its British rock ’n’ roll-inspired denim styles, the brand, which was founded in London in 1908, has been granted six months to seek new investment partners by the French commercial court of Amiens.

“With over 100 years’ heritage, we are confident that we will find a positive solution,” said a Lee Cooper France spokeswoman.

Lee Cooper was acquired in 2005 by U.S. fund Sun Capital PartnersInc., which is said to have invested over 12 million euros, or $16.1 at current exchange, in the label.

According to the spokeswoman, the label’s sales have declined 15 percent annually over the last five years due to the difficult economic climate here. The brand has debts amounting to 18 million euros, or $24.1 million, in France.

Lee Cooper’s French subsidiary, which counts 130 employees, represents 60 percent of the label’s activity in Europe. It also runs the brand’s creative studio, as well as the marketing and distribution arms on the continent.

Last year, the label closed the Lee Cooper International offices in the U.K. in order to centralize its operations in France.

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