October 4, 2022

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Li Ning’s Viva China Adds to Fashion Empire With UK Shoemaker Clarks

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(Yicai Global) July 6 — Viva China Holdings, which is managed by former Chinese Olympic gymnast-turned-small business-mogul Li Ning, has acquired a greater part stake in Hong Kong non-public equity business LionRock Money, which owns the UK’s oldest shoe chain C&J Clark.

Viva China has paid GBP100 million (USD119.3 million) for a 51 p.c stake in LionRock, the Hong Kong-based mostly organization reported on July 4. It usually means it is now controller of Clarks, which operates 700 shops globally and was the UK’s leading trend and casual footwear manufacturer final yr and the seventh in the US.

It is Viva China’s third major order in the trend field in the earlier two a long time, as Li, who is also founder of a nicely-known sports activities brand name of the same title, appears to be increasing his enterprise empire, industry insiders explained.

The global retailing market will get well immediately after the pandemic and the 197-yr-old shoemaker’s enterprise will boost, Viva China stated. The transfer will also enhance the group’s throughout the world income stream.

Viva China has used around CNY900 million (USD134.2 million) in the very last two many years including to its vogue portfolio. In July 2020, the business paid out HKD46.6 million (USD5.9 million) for a 66.6 % stake in Hong Kong everyday don brand Bossini and presented HKD50 million to obtain Italian luxurious footwear maker Amedeo Testoni previously this year.

It could be that Li Ning and his loved ones are trying to develop a style kingdom. Even so, it will be complicated to acquire Chinese shoppers over to these international brand names, sector insiders mentioned.

Bossini is regarded as to be a little bit “out-of-day,” though it was when pretty well known, a style marketplace insider informed Yicai Worldwide. Amedeo Testoni, which can make hand-made leather-based shoes, is a market brand and will not be extensively accepted. Only Somerset-based Clarks can be greatly positioned, but there is stiff level of competition.

China was the world’s premier manner market last yr with gross sales of USD353.3 billion, and this is anticipated to develop 23 % by 2026 with a compound yearly development amount of 4.4 per cent, in accordance to US consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

Viva’s share cost [HKG:8032] was trading down 3.82 per cent at HKD1.26 (USD0.6) as of 3:15 p.m. China time nowadays. Although Li Ning’s stock [HKG:2331] was trading down 2.08 percent at HKD70.60 (USD9).

Editor: Kim Taylor

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