PARIS — A French court has awarded control of the French subsidiary of luxury linens firm D. Porthault to a syndicate led by French entrepreneur Bertrand Djian and Jean-Patrick Canivet, a former executive of the French subsidiary, according to the owners of the parent holding company of Société Nouvelle D. Porthault, Inc.
“The court’s actions do not affect the U.S.-based D. Porthault group’s exclusive rights to the D. Porthault brand and designs in the U.S., China and various other international markets,” Joan and Bernard Carl said in an e-mailed reply to WWD.
“The U.S.-based D. Porthault group will continue to produce and sell traditional Porthault products in those markets. Its goods will continue to be made in France and by Porthault’s historic independent vendors. There will be no relationship between the U.S.-based Porthault group and its former subsidiary,” they added.
It added that the French court’s preliminary decision was expected to lead to “extended litigation” against former Porthault executives who have joined the winning syndicate. Suits are expected to be filed within the next 90 days.
“More specifically, it is expected that there will be litigation in the U.S., the U.K., and France concerning the qualifications of the winning syndicate, the respective rights of the companies in certain secondary markets and the apparent misfeasance of the former executives participating in the syndicate during and immediately following their tenure at the French subsidiary,” Joan and Bernard Carl said.
The parent company cut ties with its French subsidiary due to “massive continuing losses in that subsidiary due to the recent and continuing turmoil in the European luxury markets and local management issues,” the U.S. owners explained. The U.S. remains the largest single market for Porthault goods and Asia is seen as the region with the highest growth potential for the brand.
Officials at the French headquarters of Porthault did not reply to requests for comment.