As previously reported, the Calida Group in late December received a binding offer from Jean-Pierre Millet, together with Inspiring Sport Capital, to sell the Millet Mountain Group, which includes the Millet and Lafuma Outdoor brands. Calida now reports that it has received the final approval of the French work council and has signed a final, binding agreement. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.

Jean-Pierre Millet is an investor and grandson of the founder of the eponymous brand. Inspiring Sport Capital is a London and Paris-based private equity firm specializing in sports investments. The sale of its outdoor segment is a major milestone in delivering on Calida’s “Accelerate 2026” strategy. As early as November 2021, CEO Timo Schmidt-Eisenhart had commented on the strategy, which describes the Group’s financial targets up to 2026: “Our Accelerate growth strategy is based on various pillars to achieve our ambitious goals. On the one hand, we want to grow with our existing brands; on the other hand, we will strengthen our core segments of underwear and lingerie with targeted acquisitions.” However, it quickly became obvious that the outdoor segment would no longer be part of Calida’s core business due to market developments. The proceeds of the sale of the Millet Mountain Group, about which no details were given, will thus most likely be used for acquisitions in the underwear and lingerie segments. Last week, Calida had already acquired a German underwear brand, Erlich Textil.

The Millet Group is thus back in the hands of the founding family. The Millet name became famous in the 1930s by introducing the first city bags with shoulder straps. A few years later, the design was transferred to the backpack and defined the brand’s identity. From 1977, Millet also offered technical clothing, including parkas with Gore-Tex membrane. The Millet Mountain Group was founded in 1962 and acquired by the Lafuma Group in 2008. Part of the group was also the Eider brand, which Calida divested to the Korean K2 Group in 2019. Calida had invested in the Lafuma Group in 2013 and took it over shortly thereafter. The Lafuma brand also started with the design of backpacks. The “tyrolien” bag was used by the first French expedition to the Himalayas. From 1993, technical clothing complemented Lafuma’s product offering, also with Gore-Tex membranes.