La Halle remains part of Vivarte

PARIS Less than a week after announcing the sale of Chevignon, beleaguered French retailer Vivarte said on Monday it will off-load its Minelli, San Marina and Cosmoparis shoe brands in order to focus on the two remaining labels in its portfolio, La Halle and Caroll.

Pointing to a 3.5 percent decline in French shoe sales last year, Vivarte said it would put the brands on the block separately, and expects the transactions to be effective next year.

In parallel, the group has entered exclusive negotiations to sell Chevignon to a trio of French investors made up of footwear distributor Groupe Royer and fashion and distribution specialists Stéphane Collaert and Thierry Le Guénic. The sale is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.

Vivarte plans to invest 100 million euros over three years in La Halle and 10 million euros this year in Caroll, with plans to accelerate their digital development, launch concept stores and develop overseas. The brands jointly account for 80 percent of its revenues, it said.

“In an exceptionally morose market for clothing and shoes, it is more than ever Vivarte’s responsibility to guarantee the lasting growth of these brands,” Patrick Puy, president of Vivarte, said in a statement.

One of France’s largest clothing groups by sales, Vivarte has struggled to pay back about 1.5 billion euros in debt to four investment funds that serve as shareholders and lenders to the company. The group has sold off its Naf Naf, Kookaï, André, Besson Chaussures and Pataugas brands in recent months, as reported.

Vivarte posted sales of 1.8 billion euros in 2017.

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