Retail in Asia

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Fosun completes Wolford sale


Fosun International has completed its majority stake purchase in Wolford, a manufacturer of textiles with a focus on tights, bodysuits, and innerwear.

The Bregenz, Austria-headquartered Wolford said in a statement that the Chinese conglomerated now owns 50.87 per cent of the lingerie brand after Fosun acquired the shares from previous majority shareholders.

SEE ALSO : China’s Fosun takes majority stake in Wolford

While exact financial details pertaining to the deal were not disclosed, Fosun, in March, offered to buy Wolford for some 12.8 euros ($15.3) per share for a 50.87-percent stake and provide up to $26.3 million of fresh equity.

Axel Dreher, CEO of Wolford said the capital increase guaranteed by Fosun will sustainably strengthen the equity base of Wolford, enabling the brand to expand its online business and redesign its market presence.

“The stake acquired by Fosun once again confirms the appeal of our brand and our growth opportunities,” said Dreher. “We are very pleased with the participation of an anchor shareholder boasting substantial experience in the luxury goods segment, which, last but not least, will significantly facilitate our access to the Asian market, especially China.”

It’s been a rocky twenty-four months for Wolford, which has suffered a plunge in demand for its premium tights, leggings and bras, coinciding with logistical hiccups and management shuffling.

For the six months through October, Wolford reported a loss before interest and tax (EBIT) of 6.2 million euros, up 21 percent on the previous year’s first half.
Half-year revenue was flat at 70.2 million euros.

However, Joann Cheng, Fosun Fashion Group President said Fosun International sees the significant growth potential of Wolford.

“As China continues to drive the global luxury market, Wolford can leverage Fosun’s expansive China and global resources to grow and strengthen its high luxury positioning while maintaining its exceptional high quality of production in Europe,” said Cheng.

SEE ALSO : Fosun International reportedly acquires Lanvin

Fosun, meanwhile, continues to power on in 2018 in fashion. The firm became majority shareholder in struggling French fashion house Lanvin in early March and also has stakes in Italian high-end menswear label Caruso and U.S. knitwear firm St. John Knits.

Fosun International boasts 16 subsidiaries and markets its products in some 60 countries through over 270 own and partner-operated retail-stores and 3,000 trading partners, as well as online.