by Stephen Garner

Maus Frères International has acquired The Kooples Group on Monday, May 20th. Details of the transaction were not disclosed, but the parent company of Lacoste has been in negotiations with stockholders of The Kooples, the Elicha family, and the LBO France investment fund since March.

Founded in 2008, The Kooples generated a turnover of 227 million euros in 2018. The brand has 334 boutiques in 32 countries, mainly in Europe and the U.S.

According to Thierry Guibert, president of Maus Frères International and Lacoste, “this acquisition, handled in friendly fashion, illustrates our group’s strategic direction: developing and acquiring premium yet affordable luxury brands with the goal of creating an international fashion and luxury group. The Kooples will remain an independent brand, but will benefit from the synergies and savoir-faire of other members of the group – Lacoste, Aigle, Gant, Technifibre – thus developing and conquering wardrobes all over the world.”

Zayn Malik x The Kooples

Simultaneously, Maus Frères International announced that Romain Guinier will head The Kooples. Previously CEO of Aigle, a brand of Maus Frères International which Guinier reinforced in Asia, he is now in charge of The Kooples’ international development, while staying true to its “glam rock” image. According to Thierry Guibert, Guinier’s appointment “illustrates Maus Frères International’s ambition: to create and reinforce bonds between all the brands of the group, while highlighting their premium status.”

Guinier, a graduate of ESSEC business school, began his career with L’Oréal, (Garnier, Gemey, L’Oréal Mexico and Argentina). He then moved into fashion, working first for Celio, and later as vice president of Louis Vuitton Europe. He had been CEO of the brand Aigle since 2008.