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Advent acquires fashion retailer Gérard Darel

Jul '08
French retailer Gérard Darel and Advent International, the global private equity firm, have announced a strategic and financial partnership agreement that is intended to support the company's international expansion plans.

Gérard Darel is a leading designer and retailer of mid to high-end women's ready-to-wear clothing that currently enjoys a well established position in Western Europe, most notably France, Spain, Italy and the UK, as well as a growing presence in a further 40 countries. This move represents an important step for the family-run group to further strengthen the group's competitiveness across international markets.

The company's strong brand, high-quality products and efficient distribution network have contributed to the group's sustained growth over recent years. Gérard Darel currently employs 600 people in more than 40 countries and generated sales of around €158 million in 2007, up 12% from the previous year. With more than 30% of its turnover coming from international markets, the business benefits from a worldwide network of over 90 “own brand” shops, 140 department store concessions and 1200 multi-brand boutiques, providing a strong platform for cross-border growth.

In Advent International Gérard Darel has found a partner whose core expertise in developing businesses internationally supports the next stage of the company's development: positioning Gérard Darel as a global player. The strategy is to double the group's turnover through growing the number of own-stores in France from 40 to 80 as well as strengthening the group's competitiveness and network globally.

Gérard Darel recently announced that the up-and-coming American actress Mamie Gummer, daughter of Meryl Streep and Don Gummer, would become the new face of the company, demonstrating its commitment to firmly establish Gérard Darel's appeal as an international brand.

Laurent Gerbi, CEO of Gérard Darel, said: “In selecting Advent International as our partner, our group has access not only to the expertise of a renowned global private equity player to advance the company's international development, but also the financial resources to support our ambitious growth strategy. We have great confidence in this collaboration which will enable us to take the Gérard Darel brand to its next level.”

Pascal Stefani, Managing Director of Advent International in France, commented: “We are delighted to support the management team composed of Danielle Darel, Laurent Gerbi and David Maruani, whose ambitions and values we share, in this new phase in the company's development. We have been impressed by the quality of Gérard Darel's products and its excellent positioning in the affordable luxury goods market. The company's future growth prospects are strong and the performance of its retail and wholesale network, as well as the professionalism of its management team, is equally important assets which will allow Gérard Darel to becomea leading women's clothing and leather goods brand worldwide.”

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