GIRBAUD LOOKS FOR BUYER: The founders of French denim brand Marithé + François Girbaud have mandated Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild to open its capital to outside investors, a spokesman for the brand said Friday, confirming a report in French daily Le Figaro. The family has not limited the percentage it is willing to sell, raising the prospect that it will lose control of the brand, founded in 1964. Marithé + François Girbaud has been losing steam since the global economic downturn, posting consolidated sales of 100 million euros, or $132.7 million at average exchange, in 2010. Comparative figures were not immediately available. The brand is distributed in 110 freestanding stores and 50 corners in 64 countries, in addition to 2,000 multibrand retailers. The group directly owns 12 stores — three in Belgium, one in Italy and eight in France — which would form part of any sale.


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