Huit swimwear spring-summer 2016

HUIT WOES: Eveden Huit, owner of the Huit lingerie and swimwear brand founded in 1968, is seeking a buyer to take over the firm after the company filed for the French equivalent of chapter 11 on April 6.

Rennes, France-based Eveden Huit is being monitored by the city’s commercial court that’s due to rule on its future in June. Potential buyers have until May 17 to put in their candidacy.

Eveden Huit’s president Patrick Bordessoule, an executive from Dirigeants & Investisseurs, a firm specializing in rescuing companies in crisis, who joined the company on Feb. 1, cited a challenging lingerie market in France “that has seen a steady decrease of 2 to 3 percent in the recent years.”

He also noted its “complicated positioning,” which is mid- to high-end. “There’s lot of competition in the segment, and we cannot compete with mass-market brands,” he deplored.

Eveden Huit employs 83 people and in 2015 generated total sales of 6.2 million euros, or $6.9 million at average exchange rates for the period, about half of which were generated outside France. The U.S., where Huit is sold by retailers including Anthropologie, Nordstrom and speciality boutiques, generated the lion’s share of the company’s revenues abroad.

In 2012, Japanese innerwear, apparel and textiles giant Wacoal Holdings Corp. bought Eveden Group, the then parent of Eveden Huit. That was two years after Eveden Group acquired bankrupt Huit Diffusion, owner of Huit.

Bordessoule said Wacoal is ensuring that the sale process doesn’t affect business operations.

“The fall collection is currently being produced, and the summer 2017 collection will be presented at the Mode City trade show in July,” he said.