Nov 17, 2023
The future of French womenswear label-retailer Kookaï will become clear in a matter of weeks. On November 29, the Paris trade court will issue its ruling on the sale of the label, that was placed in receivership in February this year, announcing the name of its new owner. Seven bids have been filed to acquire Kookaï, which has been owned by Australian businessman Rob Cromb since 2017.
The bids were examined in detail by the court on November 15. The hearing lasted “nearly four hours,” according to Kookaï’s court-appointed receiver, who indicated that the court could still reject all the bids. However, given the quality of the projects submitted, this outcome is “improbable.”
Two of the prospective buyers have bid for the entirety of Kookaï’s assets. One is AMH (owner of the Antonelle and Un Jour Ailleurs fashion chains), which wants to buy the label with its 16 directly owned stores, 17 retail corners and 16 franchisees. The second full bid filed in October, whose details are hazier, is said to have been made by Philippe Sayada, formerly in charge of accessories brand Aridza Bross.
The partial bids related instead to the rights to Kookaï’s brand name, and/or some of its stores. The Beaumanoir group wants to buy the brand name, to exploit it online, as well as eight stores, switching them to its other chains (like Bonobo and Bréal). The Chloelina company instead bid for the brand name, the website and social media channels, and one store only. Two companies, GD Distribution (owner of Gérard Darel and Pablo) and Ilva are interested in two stores, while lingerie retailer Valège bid for one stock-in-trade.
Kookaï was founded in Paris’s Sentier district in 1983. According to the call-for-tender documents, it operates 31 stores and 35 retail corners in France, and has 232 employees. In fiscal 2022, its revenue reached €35 million, far below the €94.3 million it recorded 10 years ago, in 2013-14.
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