La Halle remains part of Vivarte

PARIS — Vivarte, the ailing French fashion group, continues to shed holdings. The latest is the Cosmoparis shoe brand, to Thierry Le Guénic and Stéphane Collaert, Vivarte said Thursday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Le Guénic, a former chief executive officer of Vanessa Bruno and Francesco Smalto, and Collaert, former managing director of French leather goods brand Textier, were part of the trio of French investors, also including Groupe Royer, that purchased the Chevignon brand from Vivarte earlier this year.

Established in 1988, Cosmoparis was initially a capsule within San Marina, formerly in Vivarte’s portfolio.

Each season, Cosmoparis launches more than 300 shoe models distributed through a network of 75 points of sale in Europe — including Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg — of which 67 are in France, through 17 owned stores, 50 department store corners and an e-shop.

Cosmoparis ended 2018 with sales of 18.6 million euros and counts 100 employees.

Collaert and Le Guénic plan to invest in the acceleration of Cosmoparis’ growth, particularly in Europe and the Middle East, Vivarte said in a statement.

“Vivarte continues to refocus its activities and human and financial resources on the brands La Halle, Caroll and Minelli,” said Patrick Puy, president of Vivarte.

Collaert and Le Guénic this year purchased the French lingerie house Maison Lejaby from Triana, as well.

“Cosmoparis is an iconic French brand, known in the accessible luxury segment and with an exceptional savoir-faire,” Collaert and Le Guénic said in a joint statement. “After Chevignon and Maison Lejaby, with the same traits, the acquisition of Cosmoparis fits in a coherent investment strategy, in France and henceforth international, with the main ambition to promote such brands’ know-how.”

Vivarte has been restructuring. In March, it named a new ceo, Stéphane Roche, who works with Puy on the strategy to relaunch the La Halle and Caroll brands.

Vivarte is among France’s largest clothing groups by sales, but has struggled to pay back about 1.5 billion euros to four investment funds that serve as shareholders and lenders to the company.

Vivarte has already sold off numerous brands, also including Minelli, San Marina, Naf Naf, Kookaï, André and Pataugas.

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