Belgian distributor Louis Delhaize has bought a majority share in Monnier Frères, a French online luxury accessories store. Moreover, the Belgians immediately invest 3.5 million euro in its new acquisition's international expansion.
Fresh capital for international expansion
Monnier Frères sells fashionable accessories, handbags, scarfs, glasses and jewels by brands such as Vanessa Bruno, Chloé, Marc Jacobs and Valentino. The Monnier Frères (brothers Monnier) opened their virtual store last year in July and are already operating in 25 countries. Both have built on earlier experiences: Guillaume Monnier was vice-president of Dior Japan, while Jean Monnier was once head of Auchan’s internet branch. Both remain minority shareholders.
The Louis Delhaize Group has paid 3.5 million for their majority share, and will invest another 3.5 million of in the web store's expansion plans “in order to finance the international development, particularly in the United States and Asia.” According to co-founder Jean Monnier, “Louis Delhaize’s participation in the capital of Monnier Frères offers us a chance to continue the company’s growth. For Louis Delhaize, this investment fits into “a broader development strategy in the field of e-commerce.”
Nice return on investment
Seller Jaïna Capital seems to have struck an excellent deal: the firm was the most important investor answering the first call for fresh capital in 2011 (when Monnier Frères managed to collect a total of two million euro), and sees its investment rewarded for 3.5 million euro.
Marie-Christine Levet, assistent director at Jaïna Capital, calls this a “nice takeover opportunity”, an “excellent return for Jaïna” and a “good sign for the digital economy that players in the field of retail business are sincerely interested in the fledgeling companies dealing with e-commerce.”