Fosun said to seek investors for luxury fashion business

A company logo of Fosun International is seen during the annual general meeting of the Chinese conglomerate, founded by billionaire Guo Guangchang, in Hong Kong, China May 28, 2015. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Fosun International Ltd., the Chinese retail-to-drugs conglomerate backed by billionaire Guo Guangchang, is seeking to sell a stake in its fashion unit to outside investors as part of plans to revamp the business, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Fosun Fashion Group, whose portfolio includes French luxury brand Lanvin, is targeting to raise more than $100 million, according to the people. It has started gauging interest from potential investors including several Asian family offices, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Proceeds will be used to help expand the brands and improve their profitability, according to the people. Fosun Fashion is considering a Paris initial public offering in several years among other options, the people said.

Lanvin, which is France’s oldest fashion house with roots dating back to 1889, operates in more than 50 countries worldwide, according to its website. Fosun Fashion is also the majority shareholder of Austrian lingerie maker Wolford AG and owns stakes in Germany’s Tom Tailor Holding SE, Italian suitmaker Raffaele Caruso SpA and American women’s brand St. John Knits.

Fosun Fashion follows other Chinese companies in seeking to capitalize on a string of splashy acquisitions overseas. Ruyi Group, once a little-known Chinese textile maker, bought French affordable-luxury group SMCP SA in 2016 and completed a Paris IPO of the business the next year.

Deliberations are at an early stage, and details of the fundraising may change, the people said. Fosun International may also put more of its own capital into the fashion unit, according to one of the people.

A representative for Fosun International declined to comment.