It’s an amazing transformation. Eight years after La Redoute was taken over by a group of CEOs for a symbolic euro, Nathalie Balla and Eric Courteille, the former mail order company from Roubaix will fall into the hands of the Galerie Lafayette group this summer, for a total value of 1.2 billion euros. In 2017, the Moulin-Houzé family, which owns department stores, acquired the first tranche of 51% of the share capital for a level almost ten times lower, at 140 million. It was then agreed that the final acquisition could take place as early as 2022 according to a formula that is very attractive to shareholder managers: the better the operating profit (Ebitda) for the past fiscal year, the higher the multiplier for calculating the value of the company will be. However, it reached nearly 100 million last year, five times what it was in 2019.
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Oddly enough, buyers did not want to limit this amount, or even smooth the results over several years to establish their equation. It must be said that in 2017, Roubaix, famous for its large catalog, is still recovering. Three years ago, the Kering Group, its former owner, sold it to duo Balla-Courteille after pumping in nearly 500 million euros to cover losses, modernize the logistics and fund the departure of 1,178 employees out of 3,437. The rise of Amazon in France raised fears of an inevitable decline of the brand Which was born in 1837 when the three Swiss had already disappeared from the scene.