PARIS – Le Tanneur looks poised to change hands soon.
The French leather goods brand’s majority shareholder, Qatar Luxury Group (QLG), has entered into exclusive negotiations with Tolomei Participations, which will make a tender offer of at least 13.3 million euros to recapitalize Le Tanneur.
QLG holds an 85.6 percent share of the capital and 92 percent of the voting rights of Le Tanneur.
“This recapitalization and growth plan aims to significantly improve Le Tanneur’s prospects by allowing the company to repay QLG’s shareholder current account, for an amount of 9.5 million euros in principal…, enabling Le Tanneur to pursue its development and leveraging Tolomei’s significant industry expertise and experience in manufacturing and distributing luxury leather products,” Le Tanneur said in a statement.
Tolomei’s proposition is three stepped, including a simplified tender offer at a price of 2.50 euros a share.
An extraordinary shareholders’ meeting is proposed to be held no later than Sept. 30, and the reserved capital increase and tender offer are expected to be complete during the fourth quarter of this year.
Le Tanneur was founded in 1898, when a leather goods manufacturer and tanner jointly patented “sans couture,” a seamless purse made from one single piece of leather. The brand now has about 50 boutiques and 80 department store corners worldwide. It also has a network of over 300 multibrand retailers and an e-commerce web site.
The company, which manufactures the leather goods label Soco, as well, registered sales last year of 53.8 million euros. It has three ateliers in France and counts about 550 employees. Le Tanneur was listed on France’s Euronext exchange in 2000.
Le Tanneur was QLG’s first acquisition. In 2011, the Doha-based concern purchased a 52.7 percent stake in the French company for around 15.1 million euros, with plans to make a tender offer for the remainder.
Prior to that, in December 2006, Louis Vuitton Malletier, the fashion and leather goods brand owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, sold 375,000 Le Tanneur shares – representing 26.9 percent of the firm – for 3.9 million euros to investors including Le Tanneur’s then president Hervé Descottes.
Vuitton purchased the Le Tanneur stake in 1999 after the luxury goods group inked a license for Le Tanneur to produce leather goods for Michael Kors, at the time the designer of the LVMH-owned Céline fashion and accessories house.
Tolmei Participations is a French manufacturer for brands and has an expertise in brand management. Among its activities is a worldwide joint-venture license with Lacoste for its leather goods, plus its own labels Renaud Pellegrino and PK-214.
QLG’s other fashion-related holding is Qela, a Qatar-based brand comprising leather goods, shoes, jewelry and women’s couture.