Gucci parent Kering acquires France Croco

22 April 2013

Kering Chairman and Chief Executive officer François-Henri Pinault confirmed the transaction in an interview published in France's Journal du Dimanche.

Located in the Normandy region of France, the tannery is believed to be the third largest in the world and a supplier to the top fleet of luxury firms in Italy and France, including brands owned by Kering and its luxury rivals.
At Kering, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Brioni are among fashion houses marketing products made with crocodile skin, used for leather goods, watch straps, shoes and ready-to-wear.

Founded in 1974 by Jacques Lewkowicz, France Croco is currently managed by the founder's son, Dan Lewkowicz, who is expected to remain its CEO. The firm employs about 60 people.

Securing raw materials, particularly exotic skins and watch components has emerged as a key strategic thrust for Europe's fast-growing makers of luxury goods.
In 2010, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton gained majority control of Singapore crocodile tannery Heng Long, saying the move would help it procure high-quality crocodile skins for its various luxury brands. Heng Long sources and tans up to 280,000 skins annually.

Last year, LVMH also took control of Tanneries Roux, a French producer of calf leathers. Earlier this year, Hermès Cuirs Précieux, the tannery division of Hermès International, said it had acquired French calf leather specialist Tannerie d'Annonay for an undisclosed sum as part of its ongoing policy of integrating suppliers.

Kering also owns Caravel Pelli Pregiate, an Italian tannery specializing in precious skins. The French group intends to expand France Croco's production capacity and to maintain its current suppliers and customers.

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