Valentino has reportedly made an offer to buy Balmain, according to French newspaper Les Echoes. The Italian fashion house, owned by Qatar-based investment entity Mayhoola, is proposing just over Dhs2 billion to acquire the French brand led by creative director Olivier Rousteing.
Balmain also received two other offers, one from a Chinese fashion group and another American investor, according to the paper, though both potential investors remain unnamed. Valentino and Balmain have not yet responded.
If the offers do exist, Balmain's current owners—heirs of the brand's chairman Alain Hivelin, who passed away in 2014—reportedly have a deadline of Thursday, April 7 to decline or accept. The possible ownership change follows earlier news of Hivelin's heirs seeking to give up control and sell the brand. They gave French investment bank Bucéphale Finance a sale mandate in February, and Les Echoes reported that a sale could value the company at Dhs1.3-1.7 million. Currently, Balmain's annual revenue is Dhs125.5 million, according to Business of Fashion.
Rousteing, who's been creative director since 2011, has helped bring Balmain to its newfound popularity, especially amongst younger consumers, with his social media fame, close celebrity relationships (namely with the Kardashians) and high-demand collaboration with H&M last winter. Whoever ends up taking over the French house, if a change occurs, will find it at an important moment in the brand's history.
Via Harper's Bazaar US