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Samsonite acquires French luggage brand Lipault

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MUMBAI:  Samsonite International has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Lipault, a French luggage brand known for its functional and fashionable designs, in a move that will strategically extend Samsonite’s brand portfolio.

 “Lipault is a fantastic addition to our growing portfolio of brands,” said Samsonite chairman and CEO Tim Parker.  “Lipault in many ways embodies the core characteristics that we strive to deliver to consumers: functional, lightweight yet robust, and thoughtfully designed products. Lipault is a chic and youthful brand that will allow us to engage with consumers through its signature Parisian style and vibrant colours, and will be an excellent complement to the Samsonite brand. We expect it will have great appeal with women, especially those travelling frequently.”

Chief operating officer Ramesh Tainwala added, “Our substantial experience in the travel luggage industry, combined with our well-established distribution network, extensive retail presence and superior product development capabilities make Samsonite the perfect steward to expand Lipault’s respected brand to additional markets in Europe.”

Under the terms of the transaction, Samsonite has purchased all of the outstanding shares of capital stock of Lipault Entities for EUR 20.0 million in cash, financed by Samsonite’s internal resources.

 “Today is a wonderful day for the Lipault brand,” said Lipault founder and CEO François Lipovetsky. “We are very excited to see how Samsonite will develop the brand in the future and look forward to seeing the product reaching an expanding audience.”

Founded in France in 2005 by François Lipovetsky, Lipault’s products are designed to meet the needs of today’s savvy travellers, featuring ultra-lightweight, smart designs, chic and vibrant colours, and constructed using luxurious but durable nylon twill fabric. The brand’s product range includes business and laptop bags, handbags and totes, and softside and hardside suitcases.

Lipault’s net sales grew by 25 per cent in 2013 to EUR 6.5 million. Approximately 95 per cent of Lipault’s 2013 net sales came from France, where the brand enjoys high visibility with three company-operated retail stores in Paris, along with corners in major department stores and luggage dealers. The brand is also distributed by third party licensees or distributors in North America, the Middle East, South Korea and other markets in Southeast Asia. The company anticipates that Lipault will continue to achieve strong double-digit growth going forward by leveraging Samsonite’s industry-leading design and product development capabilities, as well as its distribution network and retail presence to significantly expand the Lipault brand in France and throughout Europe.

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