Shandong Ruyi heads bidding pack for Bally

Chinese textile producer Shandong Ruyi Group is emerging as leading bidder for Swiss luxury brand Bally International.

In advanced negotiations with Bally’s owner, JAB Holding, the group has been discussing a price of about US$700 million, insiders say.

Ruyi has pulled ahead of other suitors including Club Med owner Fosun International and Chinese apparel maker Fujian Septwolves Industry, and another buyer may yet emerge.

Ruyi agreed in November to buy a controlling stake in Trinity, the owner of British bespoke suit-maker Gieves & Hawkes, for HK$2.22 billion (U$284 million). The previous month, it said it would buy the owner of material company Lycra. In 2016, it acquired SMCP, whose fashion brands include Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot, and agreed to buy British trench-coat maker Aquascutum last year.

Founded in Switzerland in 1851, Bally was previously owned by US buyout firm TPG, which agreed to sell the firm to JAB in 2008.

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