Vivarte has entered exclusive talks to sell its footwear and accessories brand Minelli to the businessmen Stéphane Collaert and Laurent Portella, who run the footwear brand San Marina. Collaert was involved in the purchase of San Marina, in February 2020, from Vivarte.

Created in 1973, Minelli is part of the Vivarte group since 1985. It is present in 14 countries and has a network of 260 stores and employs 700 people. In 2020, it posted sales of €93 million.

Vivarte, once a large conglomerate of fashion and footwear brands, has been selling its businesses over the past years to cover its debt exposure. The company’s activities have been reduced to the Minelli and the women’s apparel brand Caroll. Beaumanoir, a French fashion group which bought a large part of the assets of La Halle, a French apparel and shoe retailer previously owned by Vivarte, is in exclusive talks to buy Caroll.

Vivarte said that selling Minelli to Collaert and Portella would enable the brand to be part of an industrial project that would guarantee its future and improve its performance. Thanks to the synergies with San Marina, the combined brands would create “a leader” in the French leather shoe market. On aggregate, the brands would have annual revenues of €250 million and a network of 470 stores in France and could rely on the logistics expertise of Groupe Log’s, which is a co-investor in the project, according to Vivarte.

The takeover proposal has been presented to the representatives of Minelli’s personnel. Vivarte expects the deal to complete in the third quarter of 2021 if it obtains regulatory clearance.