French footwear brand Bexley bought by LBO France investment fund

Eric Botton, the founder of French men's footwear brand and retailer Bexley, has sold the majority of his stake to investment fund LBO France, the latter wrote in a press release on Monday.

A Bexley store - Visuel Bexley

The value of the transaction was not disclosed but, according to French newspaper Le Figaro, the operation is likely to have valued Bexley at over €100 million, equivalent to its EBITDA for at least ten years. Eric Botton, who last year announced his intention of selling the company, still retains a minority stake in it.

Bexley is a specialist in British-style, classic men's shoes, and operates 14 stores between Paris, Lyon, Annecy, Aix and Marseilles in France, and Brussels, in Belgium. In parallel, Bexley developed a major e-tail presence, and it currently generates a third of its sales online.

The models are designed by Bexley itself, and are then manufactured by external contractors, chiefly in Portugal. The label also sells apparel and accessories.

Originally a property dealer, Eric Botton launched into footwear after purchasing a little store in the heart of Lyon, which was in his opinion especially suitable for high-end retail. "I eventually opened a footwear store because it was a business which needed limited initial stocks," he told Capital magazine.

According to published figures, in 2015 Bexley generated a net income of €5.5 million on sales worth €31.5 million, up 16% over the previous year.

"We are delighted to be able to work with Eric Botton (...) in order to support Bexley in a new development phase, as it continues to grow its retail network and expand the e-commerce site, while maintaining a very high level of profitability," said Jérôme Guez, a partner of LBO France cited in the press release.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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