French apparel and footwear company Le Coq Sportif is to open its first wholly-owned US subsidiary according to news reports yesterday (17 May).

Swiss investment fund Airesis, which owns the company, has repurchased North American distribution rights for Le Coq Sportif said the Associated Press, and is basing its US operations in Portland, Oregon.

Le Coq Sportif North America is to be headed by former Adidas executive Tim McCool as its chief executive officer.

Le Coq Sportif's European orders for autumn 2007 have doubled, and the company is now preparing to take its brand global. However, instead of selling at large retailers, the company wants to establish itself as a luxury brand targeting sales in fashion boutiques and resorts.