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Fung brothers buy French family business Sonia Rykiel

By Giulia Cambieri

Fung Brands, the investment arm of Hong Kong’s billionaire brothers Victor and William Fung, has acquired a majority stake in France’s family-controlled fashion house Sonia Rykiel.

In a statement released on 20 February, Fung Brands said it has bought 80% of the Paris-based luxury business, famous for its colourful knitwear and poor boy sweaters.

The Rykiel family will retain the remaining 20% of the shares and will also be active in the management of the business – Nathalie Rykiel, daughter of the company founder Sonia, will be the vice-chairman of the board.

Previously, she worked as artistic director at the family business, which had revenues of €90 million in 2010.

When contacted, a spokeswoman for Sonia Rykiel, which was one of the last family-controlled fashion groups in France, declined to disclose the value of the deal.

The acquisition of Sonia Rykiel follows a spree of other purchases made by the Fung family last year, in an attempt to boost its global presence in the luxury sector.

In 2011, Fung Brands bought French shoemaker Robert Clergerie and Belgium’s Delvaux, the world’s oldest luxury leather goods company.

Victor and William Fung also own the Li & Fung Group, a Hong Kong-based trading firm which had revenues of $15.9 billion (€12.1 billion) in 2010. 

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