BCBG Max Azria: nearly 140 jobs at risk in France

Some 140 employees of the French subsidiary of US ready-to-wear group BCBG Max Azria are worried about losing their jobs, as no firm acquisition bid has been put forward since the company filed for receivership.


A BCBG Max Azria store - BCBG Max Azria

"The judicial administrators are advertising around, but there are no potential buyers. It is the situation as with Mim, La Halle and Tati," said Stéphanie Vénitien, secretary of the employee committee and worker representative for BCBG's French subsidiary, referring to other struggling French fashion retailers who found it hard to find financial groups willing to invest in them.

BCBG Max Azria France, which operates 11 stores, including some in the centre of Paris, and has a staff of 138, filed for receivership on 8th March before the trade court in Romans, France, after its US parent company went bankrupt.

The BCBG group, founded in 1989 by Tunisian designer Max Azria and recently acquired by private equity firm Guggenheim Partners, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under US receivership law, a procedure designed to allow the company to continue trading, said Stéphanie Vénitien. An acquisition bid by Global Brands and Marquee was recently approved by a US court.

"At the start of the year, we received a letter from our shareholder stating it would stop its financial backing," added Vénitien. According to her, there has been "no acceptable bid" to buy the fashion retailer's French subsidiary, which also manages twelve stores across the rest of Europe. "One bid did stand out, made by the company's directors, who wanted to create a new brand, but there is no financial backing for it," she said.

The collapse of the US group, which also closed down the Manoukian brand in 2014, means the disappearance of a fashion retailer which in the past operated up to one hundred stores in France.

The French court has extended the bidding period until 1st September, to allow more time for a firm acquisition offer to be put forward, while the hearing for the company's judicial liquidation is scheduled for 6th September.

With AFP

Translated by Nicola Mira

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