French fashion group Gerard Darel has been placed under guardianship by the French trade court. It does not have to pay debts during a four-month period and can try to find an investor or buyer in that time frame.
Debt too high
Gerard Darel, founded in 1971 in Paris, focuses on the higher branches of the market and has several well-known people as its clients. Angelina Jolie, Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba and Eva Longina have all worn something from the French group.
Ever since 2008, investment fund Advent has 90 % of Gerard Darel's shares with the remainder in the hands of the founding Gerbi family. When the British investors purchased the shares, the company sought an international expansion, which has led to 300 stores - half of those in France - and a 200 million euro turnover.
New investors wanted
The company is now in trouble because of the increased competition and disappointing results and was unable to pay off its debts in time. An attempt to reconcile with its debtors failed and that is why it has been placed under guardianship with an estimated 100 million euro debt.
Gerard Darel now has 4 months to find a new investor or buyer, which - according to French paper Les Echos - could be fellow fashion companies IKKS, Armand Thierry, Sandro-Maje. Investor Borletti is also a possibility, especially after it has become clear over the past few months that Advent wants out.