Shandong Ruyi Said to Be Leading Bidder for KKR-Backed SMCP

  • Fashion group said valued at more than 1 billion euros
  • Decision on sale or IPO of business to come by end of month

Shandong Ruyi Group, the Chinese textile producer, has emerged as the preferred bidder for KKR & Co.’s French fashion company SMCP, people with knowledge of the matter said.

A sale could value the business at more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion), said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. SMCP’s owners are likely to make a final decision this month, and if it fails to reach a sales agreement, the firm will probably pursue an IPO, the people said. No final decision has been made, they said.

Competitors including Lion Capital have dropped out of the bidding, one of the people said.

A KKR spokesman declined to comment. Representatives for Lion didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail request seeking comment. A call to Shandong Ruyi’s press office wasn’t answered during the Lunar New Year holidays.

KKR bought a 65 percent stake of SMCP in 2013. The group owns affordable luxury brands Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot, with more than 1,000 stores in 34 countries, according to the company’s website.

Shandong Ruyi, based in eastern China, has invested in clothing companies including Tokyo-based Renown Inc., which sells the Aquascutum and D’urban brands in Japan.

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