L CATTERTON DOUBLES DOWN: While many investors have shied away from fashion, L Catterton is charging ahead.
The consumer investment giant, which is backed by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, inked a deal to acquire control of the French fashion brand A.P.C., confirming a Feb. 3 report in WWD that first revealed the two were in talks.
That parks A.P.C. alongside brands such as Birkenstock, Etro, Ganni and John Hardy in L Catterton’s global portfolio, which also includes names from across the consumer space.
“Fashion has been in our DNA for a really long time,” said Eduardo Velasco, a partner in L Catterton Europe, told WWD. “We know inside and out the segments we invest in. The key focus for us is to first understand the segments and to understand the development of those trends in a very insightful manner. When the new trends come, guess what, we know them already.”
Velasco said A.P.C. was a “legitimate lifestyle brand” with close connections to the worlds of art and music and a long history of working in the area of sustainability — which has only become more important to consumers today.
The plan is for A.P.C. to continue to develop those connections and build under L Catterton, which has a big network to help push the endeavor along.
“We don’t transform brands, we strengthen brands,” Velasco said.
A.P.C.’s business has revenues of just over 100 million euros, and Velasco said it could be five-times bigger.
Those are the kinds of gains that any number of investors would jump at, but that few see in fashion right now.
But L Catterton has developed fashion into something of a sweet spot and Velasco has proof.
He said Ganni, which L Catterton bought four years ago, has seen its revenues increase five-fold to close to 200 million euros.