Children's and baby wear retailer Sergent Major has confirmed the acquisition of fellow French counterpart, Natalys for an undisclosed sum.
Natalys employs 700 staff in 165 shops, the vast majority located in France.
Owned by the Kelman family, the company has been in a loss-making position for a number of years and in 2005 its turnover stagnated at around EUR56m.
As for Sergent Major it posted a 2005 turnover of EUR82m and was profitable.
Set up by its current president and CEO, Eric Zemmour in 1987, the brand's network of outlets totals approximately 240, with 200 in France and the majority of the remaining 40 or so in Europe - Spain, Italy and Belgium.

However, it also has shops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, Morocco and the US. Sergent Major's international development strategy focuses on opening 20 new outlets abroad each year.  
The takeover of Natalys will not only boost Sergent Major's presence in the children and baby wear segment but also open up a part of the baby care market where it has been absent until now - beds, cots, high chairs and pushchairs. 

By Stuart Todd.