PARIS — France’s Gerbi family, founders of Gérard Darel, are once again owners of the French fashion retailer, WWD has learned.
The commercial court here ruled today that the family holding company HGD would take control of the struggling fashion firm, placed into receivership last July as private equity firm Advent International searched for a buyer.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
HGD said it would leverage its expertise and resources to reinvent and energize the business, which also comprises the Pablo brand.
Advent acquired a majority stake in 2008 and sought to expand its global presence, only to run into the financial crisis and heightened competition in the contemporary zone as rival French chains including The Kooples, Sandro and Maje multiplied their high-street presence.
Last year, Gérard Darel struck a deal with its creditors to reschedule debt, estimated at around 100 million euros, or $110.2 million at current exchange, only to request bankruptcy protection.
In 2013, the Gerbi family took over Paris retailer Merci, a rambling concept shop that opened in 2009 with a charitable mission. The 15,000-square-foot store boasts fashion, jewelry, furniture, homewares, books and several eateries, earmarking profits for needy children in Madagascar.