Chinese group in French brand takeover

IRO -Fosun InternationalChinese fashion retailer Fosun International will reportedly acquire French apparel brand IRO.

IRO’s founders, brothers Laurent and Arik Bitton, will retain a 40 per cent stake, while Fosun will acquire the 25 per cent shareholding of the Marciano family, founder of the Guess Group, along with the remaining shares, making it the major shareholder.

The deal, worth about €130 million (US$143.533 million), has been confirmed by a Fosun spokesperson quoted in the Chinese media.

IRO was founded in Paris in 2004, with a men’s clothing series being added in 2011. Its followers include supermodels and fashion bloggers like Kate Moss, Rosie Huntington, Gigi Hadid and Aimee Song.

With annual sales of about €60 million, IRO has stores in Paris, New York, London and Rome – all up, seven outlets in France and 25 internationally, including four in the US. It also has more than 40 counters in high-end department stores.

Fosun has diverse interests covering fashion and retailing, and also owns the French resort group Club Med. The company has invested in many overseas consumer brands, including Greek fashion brand group Folli Follie, American high-end women’s clothing brand St John, Italian high-end custom men’s clothing Caruso, and fashion lifestyle brand Tom Tailor.

This story first appeared on Inside Retail’s sister site, Inside Retail Asia.

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