Kishore Biyani-helmed Future Lifestyle is in advanced talks with Pepe Jeans to acquire its India unit. Pepe Jeans’ local arm will be merged with Future Lifestyle’s Lee Cooper portfolio, making the new entity one of India’s biggest casual wear brands.
Pepe Jeans Group that fully owns Pepe Jeans India has L Catterton, owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE also known as LVMH, and Lebanese investment firm M1Group, as majority shareholders. “L Catterton is a common investor in both these firms (Pepe and Future Lifestyle) and the deal will be valued at more than Rs 1,200 crore,” said a person in the know to The Economic Times.
The person also said that due diligence is over and the acquisition will be announced in a few days. Both the brands together will have retail sales of over Rs 2,000 crore.
L Catterton bought a 10% stake in Future Lifestyle in May this year. The Future Group declined to comment on queries by the daily. Pepe Jeans India CEO also did not respond.
Experts believe that it makes sense for Future Group to add Pepe Jeans to their portfolio because the brand has global appeal and can also access Future Group’s retail network to strengthen their reach.
Future Lifestyle that owns department store formats such as Central and Brand Factory also owns multiple brands such as Indigo Nation and Lee Cooper.
Pepe Jeans was founded by Indian-origin brothers Arun, Nitin and Milan Shah in London in 1873. However, the company has changed hands since then. In February 2015, L Catterton and M1 bought Pepe Jeans and Hackett London, both part of Pepe Jeans Group, from Torreal Funds, Arta Capital and L Capital Europe.