Lebanese investment holdings group, M1, is said to be acquiring Pepe Jeans Group. An official confirmation of the transaction is expected in the next few days.
M1, which acquired high-end French brand Façonnable in 2007 from Nordstrom, raised the highest bid, beating out French venture capital fund PAI Partners, a shareholder of Cortefiel. The investment group also has a strong presence in the real estate market, telecommunications and air carriers.
The deal will close at about 900 million euros (about $1 billion), which is three times Pepe Jeans’ worth four years ago. The brand, however, has steadily gained value. It closed the previous year in March 2014 with a rise in sales of 6 percent to $581 million.
Pepe Jeans hired Morgan Stanley to explore the sale of the business in July 2014. The company has been attracting interest from buyout firms including KKR & Co., Permira Advisers LLP, CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and PAI Partners SAS.
Negotiations have been conducted by the owners of Pepe Jeans owner L Capital, Morgan Stanley, Arta Capital and Torreal Group, the investment vehicle of Pepe owner Juan Abelló.