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Balmain sold to Qatari wealth fund Mayhoola in £372m deal

French fashion house Balmain has been acquired by Qatari wealth fund Mayhoola in a deal worth £372m.

Until now Balmain, founded in 1945, was one of France’s oldest independent fashion brands.

The business was close to bankruptcy in 2004 before Alain Hivelin took over and oversaw a dramatic reversal of fortunes.

The appointment of former Paco Rabanne designer Christophe Decarninin 2006 as creative director and a subsequent move to a more abrasive style made the company profitable again. Hivelin died in 2014 but the success of the company has continued under a new creative director, Olivier Rousteing.

Rousteing said he would be “for ever grateful” to Hivelin for rescuing the fashion house and giving him his big break in the industry. 

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