Puig Finally Acquires Gaultier

May 4, 2011 • Fashion, Industry, Luxury

Jean Paul Gaultier (center) with Marc and Manuel Puig

As of yesterday, it has been confirmed that the race to obtain shares of the Jean Paul Gaultier label owned by both Hermes and Gaultier himself had been won. Barcelona-based beauty and fashion firm Puig has beat out the other competitors, including Japanese beauty brand Shiseido, to acquire Hermes' 45 percent stake and Gaultier's own 15 percent stake of the company. Puig has been seriously eyeing the company shares since they were put up for sale early last month. With the new deal, Puig will also gain access to the label's profitable fragrance license by 2016. The license is currently held by Beauté Prestige International, a subsidiary of Shiseido and the main reason why the Japanese brand was vying for shares.

Gaultier seems happy with the arrangement, retaining 40 percent stake in the company. “I am thrilled,” Gaultier told WWD. “They’re nice people; they have a lot of energy. It’s a family business. They know what they want to achieve and they are buying Gaultier for Gaultier, not to turn it into something else.” Manuel Puig, vice chairman of Puig, which also parents Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera and Paco Rabanne, said he would take on the president’s title at Gaultier, which the designer plans to give up in order to focus on designing his couture and ready-to-wear collections.

The deal also signifies the complete end to the Hermes and Gaultier relationship. Hermès bought 35 percent of Gaultier in 1999 by investing $23.4 million in the business, upping its stake to 45 percent in 2008. But the split seems an amicable one and Gaultier had nothing but nice things to say about the fellow French luxury label. “I had a great experience with Hermès over almost 13 years, quite fantastic actually, especially the years with Monsieur Dumas,” Gaultier said, referring to the late Hermès chief executive officer Jean-Louis Dumas. “I loved it, and I did it by choice, not by obligation. I only function like that.” Now with Puig holding the reigns, Gaultier's loyal fan base are keen to see what the beauty brand makes of the quirky, charismatic label.

-Alia Rajput

Article and Photo Source: WWD

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