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May 27, 2020

French government seeks buyer for La Camaïeu

The French government is reportedly seeking a buyer for clothing brand La Camaïeu after it began bankruptcy proceedings yesterday (26 May).

By Hannah Abdulla

The French government is reportedly seeking a buyer for clothing brand La Camaïeu after it began bankruptcy proceedings yesterday (26 May).

The company trades out of 800 stores globally and employs more than 3,000 staff. In France, Camaïeu has 634 stores.

Local reports claim Lille Métropole commercial court placed Camaïeu International, and its holding company, Financière Brame, in receivership yesterday. A source close to management confirmed to just-style today that Camaïeu was placed under the protection of the commercial court on Tuesday, adding the coronavirus outbreak was the trigger of liquidity problems, with revenues falling 95%.

The company has around EUR250m (US$275.03m) of debt and was in the process of agreeing financing with its shareholders and banks, but the coronavirus outbreak meant this plan was axed. It then approached the state for a loan, a request which was turned down.

Speaking to local radio, France’s minister of economy, Bruno Le Maire, said the government has been working on a plan for the business “for weeks” and is now seeking a buyer for the business to ensure continuity.

Camaïeu was founded in 1984. In 2007, the company was sold to UK private equity firm Cinven.

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