Shandong Ruyi confirms SMCP deal

Subject to regulatory approvals, Chinese textile and apparel manufacturer Shandong Ruyi Technology Group has acquired a controlling stake in fashion brand parent SMCP.

The Chinese company has signed an exclusive agreement along with global investment firm KKR, with the expectation that SMCP’s founders and management will reinvest alongside Shandong Ruyi as minority shareholders, while KKR retains a minority interest.

The deal was reported to be sealed, but unconfirmed in a story on Inside Retail Asia yesterday.

SMCP, with its brands Claudie Pierlot, Maje and Sandro, has more than 1000 stores in 34 countries, including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Shandong Ruyi says it intends to maintain the DNA and unique identity of the SMCP brands, with the SMCP design and creative teams continuing to work from its Paris headquarters. SMCP will retain its strategy and organisational structure while benefitting from Shandong Ruyi’s global retailing expertise.

“We have been highly impressed by the success of Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot, and hold great respect for the founders and management of SMCP both for their passion and their achievement,” says Shandong Ruyi chairman Yafu Qiu.

“This would be a significant step for Shandong Ruyi Group in our continued endeavour to become a leader in the fully integrated textiles and fashion business, both in China and globally. By taking on board the expertise of SMCP, a group well-rooted with a strong Parisian heritage, we would combine their merits with our existing strength in Asia, in particular China … We also look forward to supporting SMCP in achieving its long-term objective of becoming a global leader in accessible luxury.”

“My sister Judith Milgrom and I are delighted to embark on the next phase in the journey of our company alongside Shandong Ruyi Group,” says SMCP founder/MD Evelyne Chetrite.

“After record results for 2015, with 33 per cent net sales growth, we are very excited by the opportunity to partner with Shandong Ruyi Group, which can support us in our global ambition,” says SMCP president/CEO Daniel Lalonde.

“We will continue expanding in areas where our brands have significant potential: Europe, North America, the Middle East and particularly Asia.”

Founded in 1972, Shandong Ruyi Technology Group is one of the largest textile manufacturers in China and ranks among the Top 100 Chinese multinational enterprises.

The group has a fully integrated value chain from cultivating raw materials, processing textiles and designing and selling brands and apparel.

In the accessible luxury sector, SMCP has 1118 point of sales, 906 of them being run directly and 212 through partnerships. Its brands are in 33 countries.

Shandong Ruyi’s bid to buy SMCP has been an “on again, off again” affair. On March 9 it was reported to have collapsed, but by the end of the month it was announced as going ahead again. Rumours of takeover bids for SMCP surfaced in January.

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