artist luxury conglomerate formerly known as PPR is making moves.
The tannery, France Croco, is located in the Normandy region of France and specializes in producing high-quality tanned crocodile skins. Founded in 1974, it supplies skins to some of the most prestigious luxury brands in the world, including those owned by Kering–and its competitors.
The financial terms were not disclosed but we do know that, in terms of management, not much will change at the company. Kering said that it plans to maintain France Croco’s current suppliers and customers, and that Dan Lewkowicz, the son of founder Jacques Lewkowicz, will remain CEO of company, which employes 60 people. It will, however, be expanding France Croco’s production capacity.
“This acquisition will allow Kering’s brands to further secure a sustainable supply of high quality crocodilian skins,” the company said. “This vertical integration is part of the strategy of Kering to better support its brands to better reach their potential.”
By integrating suppliers, luxury companies have greater control over the chain of production and the quality of raw materials. This not only ensures the integrity of the final product, but decreases the chance of counterfeiting and essentially increases profits by cutting out the middle man.
It’s a strategy that other luxury conglomerates have already tapped into. Kering rival LVMH took control of Singapore crocodile tannery Heng Long International Ltd in 2010 and acquired Les Tanneries Roux, a French producer of supple calf leathers, last year. Hermes has also been getting into the skins business: The luxury brand owns two crocodile tanneries in France, Gordon Choisy and TCIM, and earlier this year acquired French calf leather specialist Tannerie d’Annonay.
Kering already owns an Italian tannery specializing in precious skins, Caravel Pelli Pregiate.