RUBENS FILES FOR CREDITOR PROTECTION
PARIS — Regina Rubens SA, a French sportswear label in which LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton holds a 36.4 percent stake, has filed for protection from its creditors with the Tribunal de Commerce de Paris, the equivalent of a Chapter 11 filing in the U.S.
Rubens said she would not shutter her business or her network of 13 wholly owned stores in Paris and other French cities, and ensured orders would ship for fall.
“This was the best solution to protect my employees and the company,” said Rubens. “We are going through a very difficult period, but we’ll make it.”
Rubens, who said sales last year were about $10 million, currently owes creditors more than $4 million. (Figures are converted from the French franc at current exchange.)
Regina Rubens has been described as an upscale version of Banana Republic, known for its contemporary urban fashions and its quick turnaround of runway trends. The company had ambitious plans to open as many as 12 stores a year.
LV Capital, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s investment arm, acquired its stake in Rubens in 1999. Majority controlled by Rubens, with a 51 percent stake, the firm went public on Paris’s Nouveau Marche in 1998.
In January, accounting irregularities totaling about $6.4 million were discovered in the firm’s balance sheets and the Paris stock market watchdog authority halted trading and ordered an investigation.
LV Capital lodged a complaint against Rubens with a Paris court in February for the diffusion of misinformation. An LVMH spokesman declined to comment on the case.