SHOE-IN: Lacoste is looking to gird its footwear business by forming a joint venture with its longtime global licensee for the category, Britain’s Pentland Group.

The move reflects Lacoste’s strategy to push for better integration with its various license holders, which also include Coty for fragrances, Movado Group for watches and Marchon for eyewear.

The new venture will be based out of Pentland’s London headquarters, according to a statement released Monday. Pentland will oversee the creation and production of the brand’s footwear lines as well as distribution in Britain. Lacoste will handle distribution in its main territories.

Andy Long, chief executive officer of Pentland Brands, said the move “demonstrates the strength of the relationship between Pentland and the Lacoste Group, which is the result of 26 years of collaboration since 1991.”

Thierry Guibert, president of Lacoste Group, said the venture is fully in line with the group’s “strategic project which aims to promote the brand’s prestige and optimize the coordination of all product categories, thus reinforcing the Lacoste style everywhere in the world.”

With annual sales of $3 billion across 190 countries, Pentland Brands — a third-generation, family-owned business — counts Berghaus Canterbury of New Zealand, Speedo, Boxfresh, Ellesse, Kangaroos, Mitre and Red or Dead in its portfolio, and is the global licensee for Ted Baker footwear and the U.K. licensee for Kickers, according to the firm’s web site.

The group also has stakes in companies including Hunter Boots, Butterfly Twists, Heidi Klein and Tracksmith, and is the majority owner of JD Sports Fashion Limited, which operates over 800 sports, fashion and outdoor stores across Europe.

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