AFP: Centuries-old French crystal maker Baccarat said yesterday it is being taken over by a Chinese investment fund in a deal that would allow it to accelerate its international expansion plans.
Baccarat said in a statement that China’s Fortune Fountain Capital had signed a commitment to acquire a stake of 88.8 percent in the company from US investment funds Starwood Capital Group and L Catterton.
Under the agreement, FFC will pay 222.70 euros per share, valuing Baccarat at around 185 million euros (US$207 million).
That is below the closing price of Baccarat shares on Thursday of 259.90 euros and the current market valuation of 215 million euros.
“If this transaction takes place, it would enable Baccarat to accelerate its strategic plans internationally, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, while supporting its growth in developed markets,” Baccarat said.
Once the deal has been finalised, FFC plans to launch a public takeover offer for the remaining shares at the same price, but has no intention of delisting the shares from the Paris stock exchange, Baccarat continued.
Baccarat, founded in 1764, said that FFC had committed to make ‘significant’ investments in its core areas of activity.
The new owners had also pledged to “maintain and centralise all production and employment and will honour the company’s 250-year heritage,” Baccarat said.
Its current chief Daniela Riccardi would remain at the helm.
The luxury maker of tableware, chandeliers and jewellery employs a workforce of around 500 and generated net profit of 2.2 million euros on sales of 148 million euros in 2016.