German fashion group Bogner seeks buyer -sources

FRANKFURT Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:12am EDT

FRANKFURT Aug 12 (Reuters) - The family owner of German fashion group Bogner has appointed Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for the maker of upmarket winter jackets and skiwear, sources familiar with the matter said.

The company founded in 1932 by ski jumper Willy Bogner will be marketed to private equity groups with a penchant for consumer and retail assets, such as Permira, Blackstone, Carlyle, Ardian and 3i, the sources said, adding that the process is still at an early stage.

Bogner posted annual sales, including brand licensing royalties, of 240.5 million euros ($321 million) in its 2012/13 financial year and employed 880 staff. In the previous year it posted pretax earnings of 26 million euros. A more recent earnings figure is not yet available.

One of the sources said that Willy Bogner junior - the son of the founder - is hoping to fetch about 250 million euros from a sale of the company, which in the late 1980s launched its Fire + Ice junior collection after he had produced a ski film of the same name.

Bogner's winter jackets, salopettes and jumpers compete with those of fashion brands including Burberry, Windsor and Joop, but the company lacks the sales power of international luxury groups such as LVMH, Kering and Prada .

Although Bogner also sells jeans, tops and shoes it is mainly viewed as a winter sport brand, with a customer base largely restricted to winter sports countries and most of its sales achieved in the ski season.

Private equity companies see potential in broadening the brand to other fashion segments and bringing it to other countries, one of the sources said.

Bogner, Goldman Sachs and potential bidders declined to comment. ($1 = 0.7495 euro) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Alexander Hubner; Editing by David Goodman)

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