PARIS Jan 26 Sonia Rykiel, one of the
last family-controlled French fashion houses, is in exclusive
talks with privately held Fung Brands which could lead to the
investment firm taking an 80 percent stake in the company to
help it expand internationally.
The Rykiel family, which founded the brand in 1968, would
retain a 20 percent holding, the companies said in a statement
"We are confident in our capacity to develop it (Sonia
Rykiel) and make it an international, global luxury brand," said
Jean-Marc Loubier, head of Fung Brands, which is a unit of Fung
Sonia Rykiel, known for its brightly coloured striped
woollen sweaters and dresses, said in July it had hired
financial advisers to potentially open up its capital and raise
funds for international expansion.
Sonia Rykiel, which posted sales of 90 million euros ($117
million) in 2010, was created in a year when France was rocked
by violent student protests and aimed to create a
counter-culture to France's bourgeois dressing codes with its
inside-out stitches, short skirts, chic sweat pants and lace
Fung Capital is the investment arm of the families who
control Hong Kong trading group Li & Fung.
($1 = 0.7708 euros)
(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by David Holmes)