Family-owned top-of-the-range women's fashion designer and retailer, Garella, is opening up 30% of its capital to an investment company whose identity will be disclosed in September.

The move is designed to give Garella scope to fund a high-growth strategy through acquisitions.

Set up in 1970 near Marseilles, Garella is the owner of luxury brands JJ Garella, Indies, Bleu Blanc Rouge, Batiste, Nathalie Garcon and Sylla. The company has a catalogue of around 1,000 items which are showcased twice a year.

It has 11 of its own boutiques in Paris, trading under the Garella Gallery name and a network of almost 2,500 distributors, half of them in France and the other half in 65 countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Garella is aiming for a turnover of EUR142.5m (US$181.28m) in 2009, should two of the potential acquisitions it is currently mulling come to fruition.

This compares with an estimated turnover in 2006 of EUR 46.8m.

By Stuart Todd.