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Yongsheng acquires luxury lacemaker Desseilles

07 Jul 2016 | Front page, Advanced Materials

After more than century of producing quality lace, Calais-based Desseilles was struggling to survive when Nord France Invest stepped in to recruit buyers. A look back at the acquisition that saved a legendary name in French luxury goods.

Desseilles: Leading French lacemaker

Founded in the late 19th century, Desseilles Laces has always been based in Calais, one of the world’s historic lacemaking cities. The company designs, produces and distributes lace, primarily for premium lingerie and ready-to-wear lines, attracting high-profile brands such as Eres, La Perla, Chantelle and Aubade with its exquisite craftsmanship and expertise in production.

Fashion forward: The Yongsheng acquisition

Like many other companies, Desseilles has struggled to adapt to globalization and the decline of Europe’s luxury lingerie market. On the verge of bankruptcy in late 2015, the company needed a buyer to survive. At the request of Desseilles Laces and the Northern France region, Nord France Invest began looking actively for foreign companies that could inject new life into the business, focusing primarily on China.

Initially, Meingrace—a company contacted by Nord France Invest—acquired a minority interest in Desseilles. But we also contacted China’s Yongsheng Group, which quickly expressed interest, and we then supported Yongsheng throughout the acquisition process—including visits to Northern France, meetings with stakeholders, audits, and visits to China by Desseilles executives. In May 2016 Yongsheng bought into the lacemaker, agreeing to retain 60 of its 74 employees and invest €4 million in the company over two years. Founded in 1993, Yongsheng is a family-owned manufacturing group with global reach. A significant portion of the company is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, and its products are sold in over 60 countries worldwide.

Yongsheng’s strategy for the future of Desseilles

Yongsheng’s goal is to preserve the unique, century-old skills of Desseilles employees, relying on them to develop products with “made in France” prestige and export them to markets where luxury lingerie and high fashion have a strong outlook. As Cloris Li, daughter of Yongsheng’s founder, explained: “We’ll start by taking over the production process. Little by little, we hope to strengthen our clients’ trust in Desseilles. Beyond that, we need to explore and aggressively expand the potential of the Chinese market—another big challenge for us. Throughout the process, we will show respect for the Desseilles brand and French lacemaking culture. […] This acquisition is part of our long-term growth strategy, with the ultimate goal of making Yongsheng’s production chain part of Desseilles’ operations.”


Source:, magazine of the city of Calais

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