El­las­say to pur­chase Lau­rel fash­ion brand

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - ByWANG ZHUOQIONG wangzhuo­qiong@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Shen­zhen El­las­say Fash­ion Co Ltd, the Guang­dong­based high-end fe­male cloth­ing man­u­fac­turer, is hop­ing to buy aHongKong­com­pany which owns the rights to the Ger­man fash­ion brand, Lau­rel GMBH.

El­las­say is­sued a state­ment on the Shang­hai Stock Ex­change say­ing it plans to ac­quire East Light In­ter­na­tional In­vest­ment (Hong Kong) Ltd for 11.18 mil­lion eu­ros ($12.5 mil­lion), as part of a planned global ex­pan­sion.

The takeover would see El­las­say own­ing Lau­rel’s de­sign, pric­ing and pro­duc­tion rights and all its stores on the Chi­nese main­land.

It would also give El­las­say the right to trade un­der the brand in some mar­kets out­side of theChi­nese main­land. Lau­rel has more than 1,000 re­tail out­lets world­wide.

El­las­say, which de­rives its name from Paris’ Av­enue des Champs-El­y­sees, would also take con­trol of cer­tain Lau­rel vis­ual brand im­ages and some other global re­sources, it said.

Founded in 1978 in Mu­nich, Lau­rel was for­merly one of three lux­ury brands owned by Escada AG, an in­ter­na­tional fash­ion group spe­cial­iz­ing in women’s de­signer clothes.

The state­ment said the Lau­rel brand would be­come com­ple­men­tary to El­las­say’s ex­ist­ing high-end wom­enswear brands, and the takeover would of­fer the Ger­man com­pany mar­ket ad­van­tages in de­sign, mar­ket­ing and sup­ply chain, bring­ing it bet­ter prof­itabil­ity in China.

Xia Guoxin, El­las­say’s chair­man, said the com­pany plans to open about 100 Lau­rel-branded stores in China in the next three years.

El­las­say had first-half rev­enues of 363 mil­lion yuan ($56.9 mil­lion), a 11.5 per­cent in­crease, and net profit of 65.7 mil­lion yuan, a 11.66 per­cent rise year-on-year.

Prior to the latest an­nounce­ment, there had been spec­u­la­tion that El­las­say was in dis­cus­sion with Ports, a Hong Kong-listed high-end fash­ion brand, which has been strug­gling with sales declines due to the weaker de­mand for lux­ury brands.

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