Bankrupt French discount chain Tati has been taken over by the Vetura group for €14.5 million euros ($17.4 million).

A Paris commercial court picked Vetura out of 12 firms which launched bids for the family-owned chain that was placed in receivership in September 2003.

The Vetura group which owns the Fabio Lucci brand, is itself owned by the Eram shoe chain and Lucien Urano.

Tati, founded in 1948 by Tunisian-born Jules Ouaki, began as a small shop on the boulevard Barbes in northern Paris.

Originally selling basics like underwear and sheets, it later diversified into jewellery stores, wedding boutiques and travel agencies. Designer Azzedine Alaia was behind a range of T-shirts, handbags and shoes for the company.

Competition from stores like the Gap and Hennes & Mauritz pushed Tati to net losses of €14 million for the 2003-04 fiscal year ended 30 June, on sales of 106 million euros.

Vetura says it intends to retain 667 employees out of a total workforce of 997, and will keep 23 of Tati's 29 shops.