June 26, 2017 / 1:15 PM / a month ago

French discount store Tati to be bought by rival Gifi

2 Min Read

Outside view of Tati's historic store, the iconic cut-price shop at Barbes station, in Paris, France, June 19, 2017. Picture taken June 19, 2017.Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - Tati, the iconic cut-price shop whose historic store stands near Paris's Sacre Coeur monument, is to be sold to domestic rival Gifi, said a lawyer involved in Tati's restructuring process.

Thomas Hollande, the son of former French President Francois Hollande who was acting as a lawyer for Tati's employees, said the deal would save the bulk of jobs at Tati and keep the brand alive.

"This offer will let around 85 percent of staff stay on, which is more than most could have hoped for," Hollande told reporters.

The full financial terms of the takeover were not disclosed.

Family-controlled retailer Eram had said earlier this year that it had decided to sell its loss-making Agora Distribution unit, which owns the Tati brand amongst others.

Tati, which is well-known in France for its bright pink logo, started in 1948 in Paris when Jules Ouaki, a Tunisian and a pioneer in the low-cost textile market, opened the first store on boulevard de Rochechouart in the Barbes immigrant district of northern Paris, just downhill from the Sacre Coeur.

However, it had been racking up losses amid increasing competition from low-cost fashion retail giants such as H&M (HMb.ST), Zara (ITX.MC) and Primark (ABF.L). Eram had already tried to sell it in 2015.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Brian Love

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