Chinese bidders lining up for Bally International

Chinese apparel manufacturer Fujian Septwolves Industry and conglomerate Fosun International are among bidders for the €600 million (US$717 million) Swiss luxury leather goods company Bally International.

Non-binding offers coming in this week also included Japanese trading firm Itochu Corp.

Bally parent JAB Holding, owned by the billionaire Reimann family, said in April it was reviewing options for the Swiss company to focus on its F&B business, which has acquired Keurig Green Mountain and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

In July, JAB bought Panera Bread in a deal that valued the bakery/cafe chain at about $7.5 billion. The same month, the firm agreed to sell London-based shoemaker Jimmy Choo to Michael Kors Holdings for about £896 million ($1.2 billion).

Founded in 1990, Septwolves makes and distributes its own menswear brands including Owooo and Wolf Totem. Last month it acquired majority stake in the company that owns the licence for the Karl Lagerfeld brand in Greater China.

Meanwhile, Itochu owned about 34 per cent of London-based apparel maker Paul Smith Group Holdings as of March, while Shanghai-based Fosun, which controls French resort group Club Mediterranee, also owns Italian suit maker Raffaele Caruso, women’s fashion brand St John and Greek accessories brand Folli Follie.

Founded in Switzerland in 1851, Bally makes luxury leather shoes as well as belts, bags, wallets and clothing. It was previously owned by US buyout firm TPG, which agreed to sell the firm to JAB in 2008.

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