Artemis, the investment vehicle of industrialist Francois Pinault, is to sue the works council of Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture for failing to cooperate in its sale of the fashion house in January.

Under French law the works council is required to give an opinion on the takeover - but so far this hasn't been forthcoming.  

Artemis acquired the entire YSL business in 1999, and sold the haute couture operation when the fashion designer retired in January. It was bought by French dressmaking company SLPB Prestige Services in March for a token 1 euro.

"The conclusion of the sale is currently paralysed by the works council's repeated refusal to give a purely consultative opinion on the project," Artemis said.

Under terms of the sale, 150 YSL Haute Couture staff are to be transferred to SLPB.