Founders and management to reinvest alongside Shandong Ruyi
KKR to retain a minority stake
PARIS, LONDON & JINING, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Shandong Ruyi Technology Group ("Shandong Ruyi Group") and KKR, a
leading global investment firm, together with the founders and
management team of SMCP Group ("SMCP") have today announced the signing
of an exclusivity agreement for the acquisition of a controlling stake
in SMCP by Shandong Ruyi Group. The parties contemplate that SMCP's
founders and management would reinvest alongside Shandong Ruyi Group as
minority shareholders, while KKR would retain a minority interest in the
group. The transaction remains subject to works council consultation and
customary regulatory approvals.
Shandong Ruyi Group would invest in SMCP with the ambition to drive
further growth and support the company's global development, including
in Asia where it benefits from unique experience and track-record.
Shandong Ruyi Group intends to maintain the DNA and unique identity of
the SMCP brands, with SMCP's design and creative teams continuing to
operate from its headquarters in Paris. SMCP would retain its current
strategy and organisational structure, while benefitting from the global
retailing expertise of its new shareholder.
Yafu Qiu, Chairman of Shandong Ruyi Group, noted: "We have been highly
impressed by the success of Sandro, Maje, and Claudie Pierlot and hold
great respect for the founders and management of SMCP both for their
passion and their achievement. This would be a significant step for
Shandong Ruyi Group in our continued endeavour to become a leader in the
fully-integrated textiles and fashion business both in China and
globally. By taking on board the expertise of SMCP, a group well-rooted
with strong Parisian heritage, we would combine their merits with our
existing strength in Asia, in particular China, in order to take both
companies forward. Not only are we very excited to be forming a
promising partnership with leaders at SMCP and KKR, but we also look
forward to supporting SMCP in achieving its long-term objective of
becoming a global leader in accessible luxury."
Evelyne Chetrite, founder and Managing Director of SMCP, commented: "My
sister, Judith Milgrom, and I are delighted to embark on the next phase
in the journey of our company alongside Shandong Ruyi Group. Judith and
I reaffirm our full commitment to the business and remain focused on our
goal: continuing to build the highly desirable brands Sandro, Maje and
Claudie Pierlot and further extending their reach. Shandong Ruyi Group,
as business with strong values, shares this long-term vision and
ambition, and is the right partner for us."
Daniel Lalonde, President and CEO of SMCP, added: "After having
announced record results for 2015, with 33% net sales growth, we are
very excited by the opportunity to partner with Shandong Ruyi Group, who
can support us in our global ambition. With our talented teams, we will
continue expanding in areas where our brands are present and have
significant potential: Europe, North America, Middle East and
particularly Asia, where we could leverage Shandong Ruyi Group's
expertise. KKR's global presence and strong experience in the retail
sector have helped us strengthen our international platform on which we
will continue to build."
Nicolas Gheysens and Edouard Pillot, Directors at KKR Europe, said: "We
have been very pleased with SMCP's development over the past years and
look forward to our continued partnership with the SMCP teams and
founders, alongside Shandong Ruyi Group."
J.P. Morgan acted as exclusive financial advisor to Shandong Ruyi Group
and as sole underwriter of the associated debt transaction financing
while Latham & Watkins acted as legal advisor to Shandong Ruyi Group.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS acted as financial advisors to
SMCP and KKR and Bredin Prat as legal advisor to KKR.
About Shandong Ruyi Technology Group
Founded in 1972, Shandong Ruyi Technology Group Co. Ltd is one of the
largest textile manufacturers in China and ranks among the Top 100
Chinese multi-national enterprises. The group predominately engages in
textile offerings and owns a fully-integrated value chain with
operations spanning across raw materials cultivation, textiles
processing, and design and sale of brands & apparel. Headquartered in
Jining, Shandong, the hometown of Confucius and Mencius, Shandong Ruyi
Group operates 13 domestic industrial parks and boasts some of the
largest production lines and advanced technology in China. Shandong Ruyi
Group also has a significant distribution and point of sales (POS)
network that services a global customer base spread across 6 different
continents. In Asia Pacific alone, the group operates over 3,000 POS.
Shandong Ruyi Group has over 20 subsidiaries, with two listed
subsidiaries in China and Japan respectively.
With three distinct contemporary Parisian fashion brands, Sandro, Maje
and Claudie Pierlot, SMCP is a global leading company in the accessible
luxury sector. SMCP operates 1 118 point of sales, of which 906 are
directly operated and 212 are operated through partnerships. Its brands
are present in 33 countries worldwide by the end of December 2015.
Evelyne Chetrite and Judith Milgrom founded Sandro and Maje in Paris, in
1984 and 1998 respectively and continue to provide creative direction
for the brands. Claudie Pierlot was also founded in 1984 by Madame
Claudie Pierlot, and acquired by the Group in 2009. KKR acquired a
majority stake of Group SMCP in June 2013.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages investments across
multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure,
real estate, credit and hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive
investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment
approach, employing world‐class people, and driving growth and value
creation at the asset level. KKR invests its own capital alongside its
partners' capital and brings opportunities to others through its capital
markets business. References to KKR's investments may include the
activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR
& Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), please visit KKR's website at www.kkr.com and
on Twitter @KKR_Co.
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Source: KKR & Shandong Ruyi Technology Group & SMCP
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