PARIS — French American private equity giant L Catterton is in talks to acquire ready-to-wear brand A.P.C., sources confirmed to WWD.
The French denim stalwart founded by Jean Touitou in 1987 enlisted investment bank Rothschild & Co. to seek a buyer back in December.
A.P.C. has 80 corporate-owned stores and is present in 350 multibrand brand doors around the world. In 2021, the company’s turnover was 82 million euros. Based on those turnover numbers, the valuation would be in the $100 million to $150 million range.
The U.S.-headquartered L Catterton was formed in 2016 when consumer specialist Catterton joined forces with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chief executive officer Bernard Arnault’s Groupe Arnault. The resulting company bills itself as “the largest, diversified consumer-dedicated private equity firm in the world,” and has its fingers in several fashion pies.
The investment company made a strategic investment in Danish brand Ganni in 2017, which was reported to be on the block for $700 million in June 2022. At the time, the firm hired French bank Lazard to handle the sale process, which was said to attract interest from Chinese buyers. No deal has been announced.
It invested in French outerwear brand Jott in 2021, and in two years doubled the company’s turnover to 150 million euros. It took a majority stake in Italian brand Etro the same year, in a deal valued at 500 million euros.
L Catterton’s fashion investments have included ba&sh, Birkenstock, Charles & Keith, Everlane, Gant, Gentle Monster, Halston Apparel Group Inc., Pepe Jeans, Savage x Fenty, Sandro and Maje parent company SMCP, and more.
L Catterton offloaded its stake in French contemporary brand ba&sh to investment group HLD in March 2022. The investment group had invested in the company in 2015. During that time it embarked upon an aggressive global expansion strategy, adding 200 points of sale in six years.
The private equity giant enlisted Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to explore an initial public offering with a valuation of $3 billion to $4 billion in February 2022 but the IPO never materialized given the turmoil in global stock markets last year and into 2023.