Outdoor goods firm Lafuma has confirmed that it is poised to acquire French top-of-the-range mountaineering and ski clothing specialist Eider, adding that the transaction should be finalised by the middle of this month.

Headquartered in Eloise, near the French-Swiss border, Eider is currently owned by an unidentified Paris-based investment fund.

It posted sales of EUR21.4m (US$33m) in 2007, with 45% of this total generated outside of France.

Founded in 1962, Eider employs just over 100 staff in France and manufactures, under licence, the clothing brand of French ski legend Jean-Claude Killy.

A spokesman for Lafuma told just-style on Tuesday (3 June) that the market positioning of the Eider brand "sits well" between two of the group's own brands, Lafuma (generalist outdoor) and Millet (mountain).

Eider had ended last year in the red following minor losses in 2006, the spokesman said.
"We view Eider as complementing our current product offering but the initial task will be to return the company to profitability," he added.

The strategic objectives, terms and conditions of the acquisition will be presented in more detail in Lafuma's next financial statement and at an informational meeting on the group's half-year results on 12 June.

By Stuart Todd.