France’s leading independent jewellery chain
Histoire d’Or is an independent jewellery chain based primarily in France, with additional stores in Italy, Belgium and Portugal. It retails gold, silver and costume jewellery as well as watches via a network of over 200 stores.
- An ambitious buy & build programme
- Positioned within one of Silverfleet’s core markets
- International expansion and store roll-out
A key player in the jewellery market
In March 2006, when Silverfleet Capital acquired the company alongside management, Histoire d’Or was operating 124 stores of which only four were based outside of France. Initially the expansion plan focused on the domestic French market, but further stores were added in Belgium and Italy, bringing the total at the time of our exit in 2010 to over 200.
We ensured that this buy and build plan was implemented by making several individually modest-sized acquisitions at attractive purchase prices and then quickly integrating them. This was supported by a measured roll-out of new stores, and as a consequence, when the jewellery market started to experience difficult trading conditions in late 2008, Histoire d’Or was both financially strong and well controlled managerially, allowing the company to withstand the downturn relatively comfortably.
Histoire d’Or is now the undisputed leader in jewellery in France.
Histoire d’Or: A Gold Standard roll out
Within 18 months of our investment, 44 new stores had been added to the French portfolio, 17 of which came through the acquisition of the Charles d’Orville chain. Thereafter an average of seven stores per year were either acquired or opened in France.
In October 2007 Histoire d’Or’s franchise in Belgium was also acquired, adding a further eight stores. After careful analysis and investigation, it was decided that Italy was also an attractive market for Histoire d’Or to operate in under its existing brand. The first Italian store was opened in Naples in 2007, and by 2010 the company traded from 11 locations.
At the time of our successful exit in October 2010 Histoire d’Or had 208 stores, and had demonstrated that the existing store concept was working not only in France but also in Belgium and in Italy.
The number of stores increased to 208 from 124 under our ownership.