The Oosterdam (Pimkie, Grain de Malice) and Happychic (Jules, Brice, Bizzbee) groups, both ultimately owned by members of the Mulliez family, have notified the Autorité de la concurrence of their plan to merge.
Parties to the transaction
The Oosterdam group is mainly active, in France, in mid-range women's ready-to-wear through the Pimkie and Grain de Malice brands, but also in female lingerie through the Rouge-Gorge brand.
The Happychic group is active in mid-range ready-to-wear, through the mixed brands Bizzbee and Happychic Stores, and those for men Jules and Brice.
The transaction is not likely to harm competition
In particular, the Autorité examined whether the merger within a single entity of several brands active in women's ready-to-wear (Bizzbee, Happychic Stores, Pimkie and Grain de Malice) was likely to restrict competition on the retail distribution of mid-range clothing and accessories for women markets, in particular in catchment areas where stores of both groups are present.
It noted that, in each of these areas, consumers will continue to benefit from alternative offers to the brands of the new entity, equivalent in terms of price and commercial positioning. These competing stores remain in sufficient number to prevent the new entity from being encouraged to increase the price of the items sold or to degrade the quality of the services provided in its stores.
The Autorité thus cleared this merger unconditionally.