Swiss clothing group Calida Holding AG says it is to acquire French lingerie brand Aubade Paris SAS.

Calida did not reveal the transaction price, but said that pro-forma sales of the group are expected to grow by more than half to approximately CHF210 million.

The transaction, which should be completed by mid-2005, is being part financed by Calida's own cash resources and bank loans.

The group said it plans to raise equity of about CHF40m by capital increase to repay part of the purchase.

The two businesses, which have traditionally been family-run, will be gradually turned into a publicly owned corporation.

 Thomas Lustenberger, chairman of Calida, said: "With the acquisition of Aubade we will secure our strategic position on the internationally very competitive lingerie market."
 
Calida in February reported a net profit of CHF5.3m for 2004, compared to CHF2.6m in 2003, with static full-year sales at CHF138m.