* Marwyn in exclusive discussions with France's Lafuma
* High-end boot maker Le Chameau had sales of 24 mln euros
* Marwyn hopes to seal a deal within six weeks
LONDON, Oct 2 Marwyn Management Partners PLC
said on Tuesday it was in exclusive discussions with
Paris-listed group Lafuma to buy Le Chameau SAS, a
French manufacturer of high-end rubber boots favoured by the
Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince Harry have been
photographed this year sporting Le Chameau boots, bringing the
French brand, founded in 1927 in rainy Normandy, into the
fashion pages of glossy magazines.
Le Chameau, whose handcrafted rubber boots sell for up to
699 euros ($900) a pair, posted net sales of 24 million euros in
the year to end-Sept 2011.
Marwyn, a British investment fund active in the small and
mid-cap markets, said it hoped to reach a purchase agreement
with Lafuma, Le Chameau's parent company, within four to six
Lafuma was making the disposal as part of its strategy to
focus on the outdoor sports market, the French seller of skiwear
and camping equipment said in a separate statement.
"Le Chameau is a brand with an exceptional heritage and
product of the very highest quality," Mark Watts, executive
director of Marwyn, said.
"We look forward to progressing the transaction to
completion in the coming weeks and then helping to grow the
business and develop it as a truly international luxury brand."
European luxury brands have been expanding rapidly in Asia,
to cater for an increasing number of wealthy consumers eager to
snap up sophisticated, classic marques.
Le Chameau also designs clothes and accessories for outdoor
activities such as hunting, fishing and horseback riding.
The acquisition will be funded with existing cash, Marwyn