PARIS — Troubled French crystal-maker Baccarat has changed hands after its owner, Fortune Legend Ltd., was taken over by a group of creditors.
The company is now under the management of a group of funds led by Hong Kong-based private alternative credit fund Tor Investment Management, which have taken full control of FLL, a subsidiary of Asian financial holding group Fortune Fountain Capital, which announced in 2017 that it was acquiring Baccarat.
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The new owners intend to file a mandatory takeover bid for all the Baccarat shares, and plan to subsequently delist the company, French stock market regulator AMF said in a statement. They will explore all options to pursue the growth of the firm, “including any sale or reorganization of the group,” it added.
Despite buzzy collaborations like the Crystal Clear collection designed by Virgil Abloh, Baccarat has been sharply hit by the coronavirus pandemic. A French commercial court in September nominated two temporary receivers, against the backdrop of the dispute between its controlling shareholder and its creditors.
The company reported revenues of 52.2 million euros in the first half, down almost 30 percent in reported terms, and recorded a net loss of 11.5 million euros during the six-month period, versus a loss of 318,000 euros during the same period a year earlier.
Daniela Riccardi, who had been chief executive officer of Baccarat since 2013, left the post at the end of March. Former ceo Hervé Martin returned in October as temporary director charged with the operational management of the company.
At the time of the acquisition, Coco Chu, chairwoman of FFC, said it was willing to commit up to 50 million euros to support Baccarat’s five-year growth plan. But her Hong Kong-based family office has been defaulting on credit payments.
“Baccarat now has a majority shareholder with the resources to support its development. FLL intends to support and strengthen Baccarat’s leadership position in its market,” FLL’s new leadership said in a separate statement issued on Dec. 23.
Founded in 1764, Baccarat is one of Europe’s oldest purveyors of exclusive crystal creations, ranging from made-to-measure chandeliers to Champagne glasses and jewelry pieces.