There are always deals: despite economic ills, plenty of M&As in luxe


Women's Wear Daily - 09/25/2008

Despite a grim economic climate, don't expect mergers and acquisitions in fashion and luxury to come to a grinding halt.

The empires are poised to strike back – if the price is right.

With valuations heading south, and private equity funds stinging from the credit crisis, some if the industry's usual suspects – strategic buyers- are returning to the fore, along with a host of new family-based funds and international buyers from China, India and beyond.

"If financial buyers have more difficulty structuring a deal, strategic buyers have enough cash on hand to finance their shopping," said Michel Dyens & Co. "Luxury groups see acquisitions as part of their business. They constantly monitor the market in search of the right target."

Dyens said Asian-based investors had ambitions to be more than just industrial partners.

"[They] want to change their image and stop being considered as production logistics facilities only," said Dyens. "They have the ambition and the financial means to play among the big international players…through acquisitions of European and American brands."

Michel Dyens