PARIS — A group of employees who lost their jobs following the liquidation of French eyewear manufacturer Groupe Logo in mid-November after the company’s main client, TAG Heuer, announced its decision not to renew its licensing contract with the firm are seeking financial compensation from the brand and its parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
The hearing is scheduled for Feb. 21 at the High Court of Paris.
In 2015, the licensing deals for Tag Heuer and the Fred brand, also owned by LVMH, represented 97 percent of Groupe Logo’s turnover of around 40 million euros, or $43.1 million at average exchange rates. Tag Heuer’s license with Logo was due to expire on Dec. 31, 2017.
The two entities are being sued on two counts — abuse of economic dependency and loss of opportunity, a source confirmed.
The case involves 78 out of the 172 Logo employees affected by the company’s closure. The aim, according to the lawyer backing them, David Métin, is to prove LVMH is ultimately responsible for their dismissal because it had made Logo economically dependent on its business. Métin is seeking more than 100,000 euros, or $105,000 at current exchange rates, in damages per employee.
According to a source, Tag Heuer intends to contest the claims.
A Tag Heuer spokesman on Friday reiterated that it had not only fulfilled its commitments but “went above and beyond its obligations” as Logo’s last remaining “significant” client following the departure of a number of other brands due to poor management of the group’s executive team and shareholders. According to a source, these former Logo clients include Salomon Eyewear, Land Rover, Naf Naf and Barbapapa.
“Tag Heuer is not responsible for Groupe Logo’s current situation. On the contrary, as far as possible, we have shown our support. Until only a few years ago, Logo managed almost a dozen licenses but most of them have since ended their collaboration with the company,” the Tag Heuer spokesman added. “Since 2012, Tag Heuer has repeatedly shared its concern over the serious problems at play and in 2014 signaled that due to the company’s abnormal operating conditions and poor management we would not be renewing our license.”