PARIS — Investment fund HLD has entered into exclusive talks with the founders of Jimmy Fairly and Experienced Capital to acquire a majority stake in the French eyewear brand.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s meant to help Jimmy Fairly “take a step forward in its development through a well-defined digital and store roll-out strategy in France and abroad, with the ambition to scale up its European footprint and triple its size within five years,” according to a statement released jointly by HLD, Jimmy Fairly and Experienced Capital.
Jimmy Fairly was founded a decade ago by Antonin Chartier and Sacha Bostoni to disrupt the eyewear industry. The company offers both sunglasses and corrective eyewear designed and assembled in France in a sustainable fashion. Jimmy Fairly eyewear has prices starting at 99 euros, and it claims to be substantially less expensive than the market average thanks to the company’s vertically integrated supply chain and exclusive distribution in its own stores.
It has 58 stores in France and the U.K., as well as an e-commerce business. Jimmy Fairly is said to have the largest Instagram community of any eyewear-maker in France.
In late January 2017, investment firm Experienced Capital ventured beyond fashion and into new categories by purchasing a 43 percent stake in Jimmy Fairly. In the prior year, Jimmy Fairly registered sales of more than 6 million euros.
The brand has been able to post rapid growth and strong profitability since 2017 with the backing of Experienced Capital, according to the press release. The group has also focused on improving its offer and customer experience, plus accelerating its digital strategy and brick-and-mortar rollout.
“We are convinced that the company is ideally positioned to establish itself as the leading affordable luxury eyewear brand, not only in France but also abroad,” said Jean-Bernard Lafonta, partner and cofounder of HLD Europe.
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