Vivarte given unconditional green light to sell Besson Chaussures

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Isabelle Crossley
today Jul 31, 2018
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The French competition authority has given its approval for the sale of Vivarte Group’s subsidiary Besson Chaussures to Weinberg Capital Partners, an investment fund headed by two PPR (now Kering) alumni, and the Philippe Ginestet group (owner of the brands Gifi and Tati).

Besson Chaussures

The Competition Authority decided on Monday that the sale of Besson Chaussures is not likely to harm the competition because the brands Gifi and Tati have only “very limited” positions in the shoe retail market. Moreover, the private equity firm Weinberg Capital is not present in the shoe sector.

“In the markets examined, consumers will have many alternatives including specialised retail chains and large and medium sized retailers,” said the regulatory organisation in a statement.

The deal, which was put before the authority on July 12, has been unconditionally accepted. The amount for which Besson Chaussures is being sold has not been disclosed.

Besson Chaussures is 100 percent owned by Vivarte which recently sold its subsidiary André. Besson Chaussures reported a turnover of 264.6 million euros last year, with the sum mainly pertaining to footwear sales.

At the end of May, the Vivarte Group announced that it had opened exclusive negotiations with Weinberg Capital Partners and the Philippe Ginestet group over the sale of Besson Chaussures, which has been its subsidiary since 1998.

Besson Chaussures was launched in the early 1980s by the Besson brothers. The brand, which is headquartered in France's Aubière (Puy-de-Dôme), sold a total of 12.3 million shoes across its 133 licensed stores.

The sale of Besson Chaussures is part of Vivarte’s new business strategy which was put in place by CEO Patrick Puy when he became head of the business in early 2017. The textile business, which has already sold its brands André, Naf Naf, Kookaï, and Pataugas, is now focusing on its five main brands: La Halle, Minelli, San Marina, CosmoParis, and Caroll.

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