French couturier Pierre Cardin is looking to sell his fashion empire to anyone willing to pay a ludicrous amount for it. The 88 years old 'living legend' has no heirs. Analysts estimate the group's worth in the 200 million euro area.
“I know I will be gone in a few years time”, Cardin told the Wall Street Journal, “but the business needs to continue. I want to prepare that transition, and remain as creative director. That would be excellent for the brand's image.”
Pierre Cardin claims to have 450 employees, but only has one shop left. The group's worth lies mostly in royalties from products all over the world that proudly boast the names of Pierre Cardin or his restaurant Maxim's, and in his real estate in central Paris and southern France.
10 million x 100 x 1000 = ?
How high the ludicrous amount is, is not entirely certain: according to the Wall Street Journal, Cardin wants 10 million (euro) per country and per country, so “10 million multiplied by 1000 products, multiplied by 100 countries is one billion euro.” It is unclear however if Cardin made a mistake in calculus (the result should be one TRILLION euro), a mistake in translation (as in the European “long scale”, the result is indeed “un billion euro”)... or simply a joke. Whether one billion or one trillion, the amount exceeds by far both the analysts' guesses of 200 million and Cardin's earlier ask price of 500 million - which remained unanswered.
Iconix interested, Louis Vuitton is not
French press agency AFP mentions American interest from Iconix Brand, while the two main French luxury groups (LVMH and PPR) would not be interested in a takeover. They “want to control their own brands, which is not possible in Cardin's licensing policy.
In 2009, Cardin already sold 32 licences for the Chinese market for 200 million euro to Jiansheng Trading Company and Cardanro.