Qatar-owned Italian Fashion House Valentino Offers 500 Million Euros to Acquire France’s Balmain

By Staff Writer

Apr 05, 2016 07:28 AM EDT

Italian luxury fashion house Valentino has offered 500 million euros ($569 million) to take over French fashion house Balmain. The Parisian haute couture fashion house is looking for a buyer after the death of its former owner, Alain Hivelin.

Valentino, owned by Qatar's Mayhoola for Investments, has made its initial offer of 500 million euros. According to Les Echos, the offer was made even before the kickoff of the auction arranged Balmain chairman and owner's heirs.

Balmain, which is founded by Pierre Balmain in 1945, also received other offers from international parties that are interested to acquire the company. Balmain has also received offers from a Chinese group and an American investor. Further details were not disclosed. The offer from the Chinese group would be the first step made in this area.

After the death of Balmain chairman and majority owner, Alain Hivelin, in December 2014, the fashion house is looking for a new owner. The Fashion Law reported that the heirs of the late Alain Hivelin have decided to give up control of the brand and given a sale mandate to French investment bank Bucéphale Finance. The sale could value the company at least 300 to 400 million euros.

Before the kickoff of the scheduled auction, Balmain has already secured three offers. As for now, the company has not decided or lean towards a particular buyer, but Balmain's heirs have until Thursday to decide which offer to accept.

Balmain has been enjoying popularity and steady sales in recent years. Some attributed it to the leadership of artistic director Olivier Rousteing and Alain Hivelin himself, as noted by Standaard. Olivier Rousteing was appointed creative director in 2011, and has since embracing a digital revolution at the legendary French fashion house. The revolution raised the company's global brand awareness as it reaches new, young audience. He was selected to hold the position by Alain Hivelin himself.

In recent years, Balmain's annual revenue is estimated to be at least 30 million euros. The fashion brand has became extremely popular among fashion magazines and celebrities since around 2008 and 2009. In 2012, 50 percent of the company's total income is reported to be sourcing from license royalties. Valentino itself is growing and aims to IPO in 2017 after its revenue exceeds $1 billion.

French fashion house Balmain has so far received three offers to acquire the business, one of them from Italian fashion house Valentino, which is owned by a Qatari firm. Balmain's heirs will announce the decision whether to take the offer later this week. 

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