The Children Worldwide Fashion Group (CWF) was sold in a largely debt-financed corporate takeover and thus gains new owners. In addition, the CWF Group confirmed the merger control proceedings notified to the Bundeskartellamt in Germany.

Arkéa Capital Managers is an asset class founded in 2017 by the Arkéa Group, Raise Investissement and Dzeta Private Equity. These companies form a new investor group and have invested the Children Worldwide Fashion Group (CWF). Freddy Mallet, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CWF Group and the management team, have each increased their holdings.

CWF Group

The CWF Group is a French group that stands for high-quality children’s fashion in the luxury segment. With its own brands and licences, the CWF Group has established itself on the market. The CWF Group has acquired expertise in the development and international distribution of children’s fashion over many years. With licenses for the Boss, Chloé, DKNY, Givenchy, Lanvin, Little Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Timberland and Zadig & Voltaire brands as well as its own brands Charabia, Billieblush, Billybandit and Carrément Beau, the company has a comprehensive brand portfolio.

CWF now employs over 800 people. The collections are presented in 30 showrooms. The CWF brands and licenses are sold under the Kids Around label in over 2,500 sales outlets in 83 countries, including 350 department stores, 40 online retailers and 30 of the company’s own stores.

Developments of the CWF Group

According to the company, the intention of the initiated measure was to promote the promising developments. The Arkéa Group subsidiary, which focuses on capital investments, is positioned as the main financier and management partner for the acquisition, which is mainly financed by borrowed capital. Raise Investissement, on the other hand, is a company that supports French small and medium-sized enterprises.

“We are pleased to support the CWF Group and its management team in this new growth phase. Thanks to their excellent know-how, their unique positioning in the children’s luxury clothing market and the quality of their management, we believe in their strong development potential, particularly in the international arena – particularly in Asia and the USA,” commented Thomas Trideau, Director of Arkéa Capital’s Nantes office, on the investment.

Dzeta reduced its stake in the company in relation to the predominantly leveraged buyout. In 2014, Dzeta Private Equity acquired the shares of the Belgian group Areal and in recent years has held around two thirds of the company’s capital. The Belgian shareholder Areal, which joined in 1999, initially retained 30 percent of the company after the transfer to Dzeta. The management held a stake of almost five percent.

Accordingly, Freddy Mallet will become President of CWF-Entwicklungsholding and Pascal Leblanc will be appointed President of CWF SAS. In addition, Pascale Dechâtre was appointed Director of Strategy and Development and Kevin Thompson was appointed International Sales Manager.

The Group’s business will continue with the launch of new shoe and accessory collections. The company also plans to expand social media, accelerate expansion in Asia, North America and the Middle East, acquire new licenses and purchase additional brands.

CWF expands brand portfolio

In addition to announcing the new shareholders of the CWF Group, the company also announces the expansion of its brand portfolio. The group will thus become the international licensing partner of the Maison Lanvin label. The first collection to appear under the responsibility of the CWF Group will be the F/W Collection 2020. This will include shoes for boys and girls aged between one month and 14 years.

CWF buys the Charabia brand

At the same time, the Group also acquired the Charabia brand. The luxury brand from Paris was founded 20 years ago by Eric and Lena Barenton.

Single brand concept stores for children

In order to also position itself in the future through new sales measures, the company has developed two single-brand concept stores for children – one for the Givenchy Kids brands and one for Boss Kidswear. In June 2019, the first two Givenchy Kids stores were opened in the “IFC Chengdu Mall” and the “MIXC Mall” in Shenzhen. The first Boss Kidswear single brand store was launched in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh at the end of May 2019. Two more stores in Panama and Tel Aviv are already planned for the end of 2019.


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Link: The CWF with new owner.

Image: Homepage CWF