Galeries Lafayette buys majority stake in jeweler Mauboussin

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Galeries Lafayette department store is pictured on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s Galeries Lafayette on Friday announced it was joining forces with Mauboussin chairman Alain Nemarq to buy a majority stake in the jeweler, as the upmarket department store strengthens its roster of premium but affordable jewelry.

The deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, follows Galeries Lafayette’s 2012 acquisition of French jeweler Guerin, the company said.

Mauboussin, which has 75 stores in France and abroad, annual sales of 80 million euros and an EBITDA margin of 10%, is 85% held by Swiss businessman Dominique Fremont. He had indicated he wanted to sell.

Nemarq, who has been chairman of Mauboussin since 2002 and led its transformation into one of France’s leading high street jewelers, will continue to run the company.

Founded in the late 1880s, Galeries Lafayette has 61 stores in France and abroad, including the flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris. It also owns the BHV-Marais store, the Royal Quartz and Louis Pion watch chains, online and catalog order La Redoute and online private sales player BazarChic.

The deal must be cleared by the French Competition Authority.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Pascale Denis; editing by Richard Lough