PARIS — Groupe Beaumanoir, owner of the apparel retailer Cache Cache, has beaten out competitors to take over the bankrupt fast-fashion chain Morgan.
This story first appeared in the March 25, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
On Tuesday, the commercial court of Nanterre, a Paris suburb, selected Beaumanoir’s plan over four others, among them Bernard Krief Consulting (which recently acquired the embattled textile firm DMC), for the acquisition of Morgan, which entered into administration last December.
Beaumanoir, based in the French coastal town of St. Malo, promised that Morgan, which sells youth-targeted apparel and accessories, would maintain its independence and identity. A spokeswoman said it planned to keep Morgan’s 1,000 employees across Europe, including some 750 in France.
Beaumanoir stated Morgan would benefit from synergies in sourcing, distribution and logistics with its other fashion businesses, including the 750-door chain Cache Cache, women’s ready-to-wear labels Patrice Bréal and Scottage and unisex denim brand Bonobo. Together, they generated sales of 640 million euros, or $888.7 million at average exchange, last year.
Founded in 1968, Morgan, sold in more than 50 countries in 500 Morgan boutiques plus 530 multibrand stores, suffered from the fallout following the bankruptcy of its U.K. distributor last April. Its 2008 sales declined 9 percent to 140 million euros, or $206 million at average exchange. The company’s debt in December weighed in around 30 million euros, or $40 million. The retailer was formerly 40 percent owned by Apax Partners private equity, 40 percent by its founding two families (Bismuth and Barouch) and 20 percent by investors.
While Beaumanoir didn’t outline specific plans for the chain, managing director Henri-Pierre Dewulf promised to “return the intrinsic shine to this diamond. We wish to give Morgan back its rightful place in the market as an internationally renowned brand,” he stated.