Retired fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and business partner Pierre Berge have offered to buy the YSL haute couture unit from Francois Pinault for a nominal one euro so its staff are guaranteed a redundancy package.

YSL said in a statement that the pair are looking to buy back the atelier and work out an acceptable redundancy package for the workers, together with Pinault's holding company Artemis.

The move comes amid fierce protests from seamstresses and other employees at the haute couture workshop opposed to the sale to SLPB Prestige Services amid fears they will be contracted out to other fashion companies or lose their jobs altogether.

Earlier this month, a Paris court ruled in their favour when it upheld an earlier ruling after Pinault took them to court for allegedly trying to block the sale.