Jun 17, 2011
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Fashion brand The Kooples sells 20 pct to LBO France

Jun 17, 2011

The French brand plans to open more shops outside of France
June 17 - Buy-out firm LBO France has taken a 20 percent stake in The Kooples, a fast-growing French fashion brand targeting couples, to help it expand beyond its home market and Britain, the company said on Friday.

The deal comes fresh on the heels of the sale of Jimmy Choo and Belstaff fashion brands to Labelux this month, while in May Spanish perfume maker Puig acquired control of French fashion brand Jean-Paul Gaultier and Qatar Luxury Group acquired a controlling stake in French leather goods maker Le Tanneur.

The Kooples was founded in 2008 by the three sons of the co-founders of Comptoir des Cotonniers, now part of Japan's Fast Retailing which also owns casual wear brand Uniqlo.

The Kooples declined to disclose the terms of the deal but said it aimed to generate earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of 25 million euros on sales of 100 million euros in the year to Aug.31.

The deal, which Les Echos reported earlier on Friday, values the French brand at 250 million euros, or 2.5 times expected sales, the paper said. The Kooples declined to confirm the valuation.

The brand said it planned to use the funds raised to open shops outside of France where it has 160 points of sale, through boutiques, multi-brand shops and department stores. It also has 15 points of sale in Great Britain.

(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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