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Lanvin Group to open stores, hunt buys after U.S. SPAC listing

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SHANGHAI — Chinese luxury fashion conglomerate Lanvin Group, owner of the eponymous French fashion brand, said it is scouting for buys and will open new stores, after a New York SPAC listing on Thursday that raised $150 million and valued it at $1.31 billion.

The amount raised is far lower than the $544 million that the group, owned by China’s Fosun International, said in March it hoped to raise from the listing via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) set up by Primavera Capital.

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“The market has changed quite a lot compared to one year ago when we kicked off the process. However, we still feel quite happy about what we have achieved in such a challenging environment,” Lanvin Group Chairman and Chief Executive Joann Cheng, told Reuters in an interview.

Cheng cited operations for the group’s existing portfolio of brands – which also includes Italian luxury shoemaker Sergio Rossi and suitmaker Caruso – as first priority for expenditure, with new acquisitions also on the table, especially in areas seen as gaps in their existing portfolio.

Further acquisitions that complement the group could include a leather goods label or a “new luxury brand,” with existing cachet among Gen Z consumers to accelerate Lanvin Group’s penetration with that demographic, said Executive President and Co-COO, David Chan.

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“This is the start of the new journey to become a $1 billion revenue size group. We need to build up to the next scale, but at that time we hope we have more brands and our brand matrix will be richer than it is now,” Cheng added.

Group revenue for the company, which was originally known as Fosun Fashion Group before it rebranded as Lanvin Group in October last year, grew 73% year-on-year to 202 million euros ($215 million) in the first half of 2022.

Also on the agenda is a retail expansion, with plans to open 200 new stores globally by 2025.

Lanvin Group’s listing will test investor appetite in less-established luxury groups. Though the sector as a whole has proven resilient in the face of consumer belt-tightening, further economic headwinds lay ahead.

Not least in China, where questions about a short-term consumption bounceback there remain unanswered as the country battles a surge in COVID-19 cases amid a messy exit from long-held restrictions.

“We are still very optimistic about the China market,” said Cheng. “We’re prepared for a rebound in this important luxury consumption market that every brand wants to build up a strong growth story in.” (Reporting by Casey Hall; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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