La Perla and Frette, up for sale
According to industry sources cited by WWD, San Francisco based private equity firm JH Partners is putting La Perla Group and Frette up for sale. La Perla is an Italian luxury ready to wear and lingerie brand, while Frette is an Italian luxury home accessories and bedding brand. JH Partners acquired full control of La Perla Group in 2008, after taking a 70% stake in the company in 2007. At the time, La Perla generated sales of up to 250 million dollars, but the transaction was valued at 400 million dollar due to a heavy debt load of the company. Industry executives estimate a combined sale of La Perla and Frette at 300 million dollars.
Despite a comprehensive restructuring process, which involved discontinuing several lines and reducing work force, La Perla has been negatively impacted by the European debt crisis and pressure to increase profitability. Frette registered sales of 135 million dollars in 2011, compared with 124 million dollars in 2010.
Potential buyers for La Perla could be: Eres, the French lingerie and swimwear brand controlled by the Wertheimer family, which also owns luxury maison Chanel; Group Chantelle (turnover of 345 million dollars) or Wacoal Holdings of Japan.