Chinese conglomerate Fosun announced on Thursday that it will buy an unspecified stake in French luxury brand Lanvin, another step in its global expansion.
After the transaction, Fosun will be the largest shareholder of Jeanne Lanvin SAS, the oldest luxury couture house in France, which will help the Chinese company create a fashion-focused enterprise platform, according to a statement Fosun sent to the Global Times on Thursday.
Lanvin was founded by Jeanne Lanvin in 1889.
Lanvin will add a luxury asset to Fosun's Fashion Group, Joann Cheng, vice chief financial officer of Fosun International and executive president of Fosun Fashion Group, said in the statement.
"As China becomes the main growth driver of the global luxury market, we are confident that Fosun can bring great incremental value to Lanvin with our global resources and expertise, while being absolutely committed to Lanvin's high luxury positioning and its exceptional quality of products manufactured in France and Italy," Cheng said.
France's oldest luxury brand has been financially struggling in recent years. Sales fell 23 percent year-on-year in 2016 to 162 million euros (2 million), Reuters reported in June 2017, citing sources with knowledge of the company's financial results. At the peak in 2012, the company's sales were 235 million euros, Reuters noted.
Currently, the French brand operates in more than 50 countries and regions offering garments for women, men and children, as well as accessories including footwear and leather goods.
Fosun has been expanding in the French market since 2010 when it announced the purchase of holiday resort operator Club Med. The Chinese company bought stakes in French margarine maker St Hubert and French property owner PAREF in 2017.
The company's global network now includes 17 countries and regions and covers various sectors including insurance, tourism and fashion, according to a document Fosun sent to the Global Times in January.