PARIS — Embarking on an acquisitions drive, Groupe Galeries Lafayette said it has acquired the French jewelry chain Didier Guérin for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1969, the family-owned jeweler posted 2011 sales approaching 50 million euros, or $69.6 million at average exchange rates. It operates 34 boutiques in Paris and its environs.

Galeries Lafayette chief executive Philippe Houzé said the acquisition underscores the retail group’s ambition “to become an important player in this key market. It speaks to our multispecialist strategy and allows our department store division to reinforce its holdings in jewelry and costume jewelry.”

The retail group already controls the Royal Quartz and Louis Pion watch chains, in addition to its department stores Galeries Lafayette and BHV.

Last month, Groupe Galeries Lafayette agreed to sell French retail group Casino its 50 percent stake in their joint venture Monoprix for 1.18 billion euros, or $1.46 billion at current exchange, ending a long-running dispute over the value of the store chain.



The transaction is expected to take place before Oct. 30, 2013. Houzé is to stay on as head of Monoprix until the sale is finalized.

Groupe Galeries Lafayette has stated ambitions to acquire mid- to high-end brands in the ready-to-wear and accessories categories.

It operates 59 department store locations in France, and three abroad: in Casablanca, Berlin and Dubai.  Galeries Lafayette has committed 800 million euros, or $977 million, to renovate its store network by 2017, including its sprawling Boulevard Haussmann flagship.

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