Lanvin might be up for sale. According to WWD, after acquiring Valentino, Balmain and Italian menswear brand Pal Zileri, Mayhoola Group is reportedly looking to expand and has Lanvin on its radar. The Qatari fund’s interest comes on the heels of reports that Taiwanese publishing magnate Shaw-Lan Wang, Lanvin's controlling shareholder, might be looking to sell.
According to WWD, Shaw-Lan Wang – who was responsible for the ouster of the house’s longtime creative director, Alber Elbaz, in 2015 – is willing to let go of the brand for roughly 500 million Euros ($537 million). This is the number that Wang reportedly floated to Mayhoola last year in connection with a potential acquisition that never came into fruition.
The acquisition report comes on the heels of rumors earlier this month that Lanvin staffers are expecting job cuts following a drop in sales growth in 2016 and new designer Bouchra Jarrar’s inability to bring the Paris-based brand back to growth. According to Reuters, “The company appointed advisory firm Long Term Partners to conduct an audit and it is due to present its findings to Lanvin's board at the end of this month and recommend ways to reduce the company's cost base.”
Lanvin expects to report a net loss of more than 10 million euros ($10.6 million) for 2016 – its first in nearly a decade – against a profit of 6.3 million euros ($6.7 million) in 2015. A tell-tale sign that things are going south, according to Reuters? Many items on Lanvin’s website are being offered at very steep discount, some as great as 50 percent off.
Officials from Lanvin and Mayhoola could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.