PARIS — Experienced Capital Partners has entered into exclusive talks to buy a 70 percent stake in French shirtmaker Alain Figaret from the EPI Group, which also owns shoemaker J.M. Weston, the Bonpoint children’s wear chain and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne.

The investment firm founded by former SMCP, or Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot, executives Frédéric Biousse, Elie Kouby and Emmanuel Pradère expects to conclude the transaction at the beginning of 2017, said Pradère, chief executive officer of Experienced Capital Partners, confirming a report on Fashion Network.

EPI Group, which is one of 10 firms that contributed funding to Experienced Capital Partners, is to keep a 30 percent stake in Alain Figaret, he added.

“We will remain partners because EPI considers that the potential for development is very strong, but it is on the affordable luxury segment, rather than the luxury segment that they want to focus on,” Pradère said.

“We think Figaret has huge potential for development both in France and overseas. We are thinking of Europe, but also Asia,” he said, adding that the brand’s reputation for quality should also allow it to grow online sales.

Alain Figaret logs annual sales of around 20 million euros, or $22.5 million at current exchange rates, with most of its business concentrated in the men’s segment in France. “There are several players in the quality shirt segment that have sales in excess of 100 million euros, so that’s our ambition,” Pradère said.

Laurence Haim, who took over as ceo of Alain Figaret on Sept. 1, will remain at the helm of the business. She will oversee a revamp of the product lines and retail concept, as the brand seeks to expand its network of points of sale from the present 23.

It will be the fourth investment for the fund, which also has stakes in men’s wear label Balibaris, fashion label Maison Standards and Soeur, having bought EPI Group’s 33.3 percent stake in Brion Sisters, the contemporary brand’s parent company. “We think we will have between eight and 10 lines of investment by 2017,” Pradère said.

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