Airesis, the Swiss investment firm that is the brand's majority shareholder, has announced the arrival of Mirabaud Patrimoine Vivant as a new investor in Le Coq Sportif, the French sports and lifestyle brand, with a total financing of €10 million. Airesis didn't specify the stake that Mirabaud is taking in the brand. It said that the investment is intended to support Le Coq's future development.

The move comes after Airesis indicated that the brand is performing better than in the past. In a preliminary business update issued on Feb. 6, Airesis indicated that it was likely to report improved results for Le Coq Sportif for the 2018 financial year and that it expected the positive trend to continue this year in terms of both turnover and margins.

Le Coq's revenues rose by 3 to 5 percent last year to a level of between €121 million and €123 million. The gross margin went up to between 48 and 50 percent as compared with 45 percent in 2017. Ebitda grew to a range of €4.5 million to €5.5 million from €3.8 million.

Airesis noted that the progress took place in spite of two major adverse external factors. The prolonged summer delayed sales of winter clothing. At the end of the year the “yellow vests” protests had a negative impact of between 3 and 4 million euros, with several implications for the profitability of the business.

For 2019, Airesis is projecting an Ebitda margin of at least 4 percent for Le Coq on revenues of €125 million or more.

Mirabaud, a fund created by Luc-Alban Cher and Renaud Dutreil with the support of Mirabaud Asset Management, invests in companies, especially in France, with a view to promoting manufacturing skills and brands known for their identity and creativity.

Airesis acquired Le Coq Sportif in 2005. In 2010, Le Coq Sportif revived the historic plant in Romilly-sur-Seine, in a part of the Champagne region called Aube, where all its apparel ranges have been developed and created from the beginning, back in 1882. All the knitting and dyeing work for its products is handled by companies located within a few miles of the headquarters, at Aube Tricotage and France Teinture. Product assembly is handled by a partner in Morocco.

In a similar spirit, a fund related to Airesis recently agreed to support a management buyout of a French shoe manufacturing company, Compagnie Vosgienne de la Chaussure (CVC), which will continue to assemble sneakers for Le Coq Sportif (SGI Europe Vol. 30, N° 1+2 of Jan. 11).

Le Coq Sportif is the official supplier of the Tour de France, the men's and women's French rugby teams, the drivers of the Renault F1 team, the Saint Etienne and Fiorentina football teams, the players of Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, and Richard Gasquet, the French tennis player, among others.