Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) has acquired a majority stake in SMCP Group, which operates the French fashion brands Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot.

As part of the agreement, KKR has acquired 65% of SMCP's share capital from L Capital and Florac, while the company's management has retained the remaining 35%.

The deal, which is estimated to be worth EUR650m (US$849.4m), is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. 

"We look forward to working with KKR as we accelerate the international expansion of our brands, particularly in the United States and Asia," said SMCP Group CEO Frédéric Biousse.

"KKR's global presence and extensive experience and track-record in the international retail sector will be important assets in helping us continue our growth trajectory." 

Meanwhile, Jacques Garaïalde, partner and managing director in charge of KKR's French operations, added: "SMCP is a remarkable business with an outstanding management team.

"The company has developed strong French brands with international appeal, and high quality products at affordable prices that meet the needs of consumers around the world. We are pleased to support the team in their growth strategy".

SMCP, which operates more than 570 points of sale, reported a turnover of EUR350m last year. The company plans to open 150 new stores in 2013, mainly outside France.