The three very different companies that are taking over Pimkie
Put up for sale last spring, Pimkie will soon change hands. The Mulliez family, the current owners of the company, has entered into exclusive negotiations with three different players, all of whom are nevertheless united around the women's fashion brand to relaunch it. They are Lee Cooper France, Kindy and Ibisler Tekstil. But who are they?
Lee Cooper France
The company Lee Cooper France, which according to our information will become a 70% majority shareholder of Pimkie, is an entity that was created twelve years ago, in 2010, after the sale of the French subsidiary of the British jeans brand to the manufacturer Linda Textile. The latter still operates as a licensee of the brand name Lee Cooper, founded in London in 1908. In France, the brand generated 20 million euros in sales in 2021.
Linda Textile owns a denim factory in Tunisia, while Lee Cooper France relies on a logistics center based near Amiens. The brand operates four stores, all located in outlets, and is also distributed through 650 retailers. This summer, it opened a Parisian pop-up to target a younger clientele and make a name for itself in the capital, after having closed its store on rue de Rivoli during the crisis.
After going through receivership in 2017, the French group Kindy saw its socks business taken over by two entrepreneurs, Thierry Carpentier and Salih Halissi. Sock production was then relaunched in Kindy's historic factory, based in Moliens, in the Oise region of France, since 1863. The company, which mainly sells its products in supermarkets, then carried out external growth operations, acquiring the Tissel socks brand in 2018, then Mariner underwear in 2021. The Kindy group achieved an annual turnover of 12.7 million euros, according to data from société.com.
According to our information, Kindy's head Salih Halissi is expected to take over the operational management of Pimkie as part of the takeover.
Founded in 1998, Ibisler Tekstil is a manufacturing company with two fashion factories located in Turkey, employing over 500 people in Istanbul and Düzce. Pimkie was already one of several hundred fashion labels around the world to be a customer of the company. Its flagship products include T-shirts, sweatshirts, tights, shorts, skirts and dresses. The manufacturer claims several certifications, including GOTS (Global organic textile standard), Global Recycled Standard and BSCI (Business social compliance initiative).
What future for Pimkie?
Do these three players have what it takes to turn around a brand with 426 points of sale? This acquisition reminds us of the Naf Naf takeover by its industrial partner SY International in 2020. At the time, Selçuk Yilmaz, head of SY International, explained that "the merger between Naf Naf and SY Corporate France creates a fully integrated group that will combine speed, style and fashion."
Philippe Favre, a specialist in corporate restructuring who was appointed head of Pimkie at the beginning of 2022, said in a statement that their joint offer was selected "on the basis of their ability, both financial and operational, to turn around, develop and perpetuate the Pimkie brand over the long term. "[...] Their experience and specific expertise provide a complete, complementary and adapted offer in a context of strong competitiveness", he assures.
Nevertheless, Pimkie is probably in for a downsize, according to the syndicats. The new owners will take over the company in early 2023, before potentially determining the extent of the restructuring plan to be carried out.
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