French fashion label Isabel Marant – fresh out of a court battle with Antik Batik – is in preliminary talks with Eurazeo to sell a controlling stake to the private equity firm, sources close to the matter said late last week. Isabel Marant, which is named after its founding designer, set up in 1994 and still in the hands of its Ms. Marant and her design team, is estimated to generate annual sales of close to 200 million euros ($216 million), according to one of the sources.
Eurazeo has been holding discussions with Isabel Marant for several weeks but a deal is not imminent, another source said. The private equity firm is still conducting due diligence and a deal may take a few weeks, if not months, to materialize, that source said, adding that it was not certain to go ahead.
Marant, known for its easy Parisian style and its frequent incorporation of tribal references, raised its worldwide footprint in 2013 when it produced a collection for fast-fashion retailer H&M. It has 19 boutiques worldwide and makes the bulk of sales from wholesellers such as department stores and multi-brand stores. The brand is keen to raise capital to expand its global footprint and widen its ranges of products such as leather goods, one of the sources said.
Eurazeo has made many investments in the fashion and luxury industry in recent years. In September, it took part in a fund raising round for online, second-hand, luxury retailer Vestiaire Collective and last year took a 10 percent stake in Spanish fashion label Desigual. The company has made sizeable profits by investing in Italian luxury down jacket maker Moncler, which floated on the Milan stock exchange two years ago.