Receiver-held Naf Naf calls for tenders to find investors

Translated by

Nicola Mira


Apr 5, 2024

French women’s ready-to-wear retailer Naf Naf, which went into receivership last September, told the AFP agency on Thursday that it will issue a call for tenders on Friday, seeking investors interested in buying a full or partial stake in the company.

Naf Naf belongs to the SY International group – Naf Naf

The deadline for Naf Naf to find a buyer or an investor will expire on May 13, when the call for tenders will close, according to the schedule disclosed by the CFDT union to AFP.

“Despite the committed efforts of the entire Naf Naf workforce, (…) we must admit that results are struggling to improve, but we need to move forward,” said Selçuk Yilmaz, boss of Naf Naf, in a message sent on Thursday to the employees, which was forwarded to AFP.

“From tomorrow, and in agreement, with the receivers, we will issue a call for tenders” in order to “find investors that will give us additional financial support,” said Naf Naf in Thursday’s message.

“We are not ruling out selling the company, but it is not our preferred option,” added Naf Naf.

The plan was presented to the employee committee on Thursday morning, according to Naf Naf. “Several options are being considered,” including  the drawing up of “a turnaround plan by the current owner,” said CFDT in a statement sent to AFP.

“[Naf Naf’s] employee representatives are therefore unclear about the company’s future,” an uncertainty that can only worsen “industrial relations that have been troubled for some time,” said CFDT, the majority union at Naf Naf.

The company is heavily indebted, notably owing to rents that went unpaid during the pandemic, and was placed in judicial receivership in September 2023.

At the beginning of March, the trade court in Bobigny, France, approved an extension of Naf Naf’s monitoring period, part of the receivership procedure, for an additional six months, until September 6 2024.

Last month, the court also cancelled the redundancy plan introduced by the company in October 2023, owing to lack of control by the Ile-de-France Regional and Interdepartmental Directorate for the Economy, Employment, Labour and Solidarity (DRIEETS). The plan involved cutting 88 open-ended contract jobs, terminating 26 fixed-term and work-study positions, and modifying another 47 employment contracts.

Naf Naf currently has 676 employees in France, and operates 111 directly owned stores and 59 affiliated ones, according to information given by the management to AFP.

The retailer was founded in 1973 by the brothers Gérard and Patrick Pariente, and was bought by the Vivarte group in 2007. In 2018, the floundering French fashion distribution group sold the brand to Chinese group La Chapelle.

Naf Naf then went into receivership in May 2020, and was bought following court proceedings by Franco-Turkish group SY International, which employs more than 1,000 people worldwide, and had acquired French fashion retailer Sinéquanone in 2019.

With AFP

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