AlixPartners UK, led by Alastair Beveridge and Daniel Imison, is currently in the process of selling a 37% stake in SMCP, the prominent French premium fashion company. SMCP is the parent company of popular brands such as Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot, and Fursac. The sale is expected to take several months to complete, and details about the potential buyer and the value of the stake are currently unknown. There is speculation surrounding the potential for this sale to lead to a takeover bid for the entire group.

In France, a mandatory takeover bid is triggered when a shareholder acquires 30% or more of a company’s shares. However, if multiple bidders purchase shares, a full takeover is not guaranteed. Currently, SMCP has a market capitalization of nearly €600 million, but the share price of €7.94 suggests a lower valuation. Nevertheless, the shares experienced a significant surge of over 7% following the announcement of the stake sale.

Jefferies analysts have estimated that SMCP should be valued at €11 per share based on a fundamental evaluation of a 7x EV/EBIT multiple. Despite these valuation estimates, AlixPartners has emphasized that the timing, conclusion, and potential purchasers of the sale process are currently uncertain. It remains to be seen if this transaction will trigger a subsequent mandatory takeover bid.

Over a year ago, SMCP came under the control of a group of former bondholders, including Blackrock and Carlyle, after its previous owner and part of the troubled Chinese conglomerate Shandong Ruyi defaulted on €250 million of debt.

The sale of a stake in SMCP by AlixPartners UK is a significant development in the fashion industry. The potential buyer and the impact of this sale on SMCP’s future are still unknown. It will be interesting to observe how this transaction unfolds and whether it leads to any major changes within the company.

Useful links:
SMCP Investor Relations
Jefferies (for Jefferies analysts mentioned in the article)