Compagnie Vosgienne de la Chaussure (CVC), the French shoe factory sold by the Vivarte group to a German investment fund at the end of 2016, has found a new investor, just as it was about to be liquidated. Petrus Finance, a Swiss holding company that indirectly controls Le Coq Sportif, has agreed to support the acquisition of its industrial assets at an undisclosed price by one of CVC's former managers, Ingrid Müller.

CVC, which will renamed Compagnie Française de la Chaussure (CFC), will keep only 30 of the company's former 121 full-time employees. It will concentrate on assembling sneakers for Le Coq Sportif, as it had done before as part of its activities, allowing it to carry the distinctive “Made in France” label. The owners of the French sports brand had previously invested in a French textile facility for its clothing line.

Müller, who served previously as CVC's director of human resources, is not re-hiring the managers and workers who were in charge of design, prototyping and quality control, but she has reportedly committed herself to set up a local training center for rare skills.

Petrus is backing her by guaranteeing that the new company will have enough financial resources to continue to operate for at least three years. Müller presented her takeover proposal to the court that was handling CVC's bankruptcy after no other candidates came forward to acquire the oldest shoe factory in France by the Oct. 8 deadline set to avoid its liquidation.

As previously reported (Shoe Intelligence Vol. 20 n°17+18 of Sept. 14), CVC's former management tried in vain to convince Charles Jourdan and other brands of high-end footwear to be one of their suppliers after the end of a three-year contract with Vivarte.

Founded in 1898 by the French André chain of shoe shops to make its own shoe collections, the factory is located near Nancy, close to the German border. It was modernized in 2006. Vivarte, which has been divesting most of its retail operations recently, including the selling the André chain to Spartoo, was previously called the André Group.