Fauchon acquired by Breton group Galapagos

Fauchon, the iconic brand of French gastronomy, has just been taken over by the Breton Galapagos group, owner of several emblematic French cookie and chocolate brands (Gavottes, Biscuits roses de chez Fossier…). The latter intends to continue the brand’s international expansion plan, via the delicatessen and hotel sectors.

 

A tasteful marriage…

 

Fauchon joins Breton group Galapagos.

 

The latter, owned by the Tacquard family, has just announced the purchase of the former from Eucelia Investments SA, the Ducros family’s investment company, which had owned the brand since 2004. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed.

 

 

The iconic French gastronomy (and now also hotel) brand, founded in 1886 by Auguste Fauchon, will benefit from synergies with its forty-year-old younger brother. Founded in 1990 by Christian Tacquard, Galapagos brings together some of France’s finest cookie makers, including Gavottes, Traou Mad, Biscuits roses de chez Fossier (all three of which have the Entreprises du Patrimoine Vivant label), Moulin du Pivert and the Mademoiselle de Margaux chocolate factory. All of this was achieved through external growth.

 

“This acquisition allows Galapagos to become even more firmly rooted in the world of French haute gastronomy. We already generate 20% of our sales abroad, and the arrival of Fauchon in the family group, with its strong synergies, will enable us to pursue this development and continue to promote France and its gourmet products”, emphasized Jérome Tacquard, current CEO of the Galapagos group and now also head of Fauchon.

 

Common ground

 

“We’ve never been industrialists, and the Galapagos Group’s solid experience in high-end, quality production in this field will be a real strength that will reinforce the growth of the Fauchon brand,” Samy Vischel, President of Fauchon, explained to the press.

Despite their very different ages, Fauchon and Galapagos share several points in common: a family DNA, high standards in the service of France’s culinary heritage, and similar scopes of activity.

 

Based in Rennes and founded in 1990, Galapagos achieves sales of 125 million euros with 600 employees.

 

For its part, the Fauchon group and its franchisees, with some 1,000 employees, post sales of around 100 million euros.

 

But even if he doesn’t officially publish his figures, Fauchon’s new owner is nevertheless in better shape than the latter, which gives him the backbone to take over his elder sibling.

 

Difficult years

 

Although it has been back in the black since 2023, Fauchon has been on a slippery, loss-making slope for several years. The attacks of 2015, the strike against pension reform in 2019, and above all covid, were all serious setbacks. Its Réceptions subsidiary ended up filing for bankruptcy in mid-2019. A continuation plan was validated, with repayment of its five million euros in debt spread over the period 2020-2028.

 

However, only the company’s head office, production laboratory and three boutiques in Paris (accounting for 10% of sales), historically located at Place de la Madeleine, and employing a total of 130 people, were included in the proceedings. Two of its Paris stores, dedicated to the catering business, had closed, resulting in the dismissal of 77 employees. The tea store was the only one to survive.

 

On the other hand, Fauchon’s parent company, fueled by royalties from its 73 boutiques, sales outlets and restaurants, including 17 franchises (Japan, Europe, Middle East, Korea, Chile) and the sale of branded products through resellers, as well as its “gourmet hotel” opened in late 2018 on Place de la Madeleine in Paris, had avoided receivership.

 

Turnaround

 

Since then, Fauchon has regained control, with several international expansion operations and a return to profit in 2023.

In March 2021, Fauchon opened its first hotel abroad, in Tokyo, and in the space of three years it opened a dozen points of sale around the world.

Fauchon is also keen to pass on its know-how, and has announced the opening in Rouen in 2022 of a school bearing its name to train students in the culinary and service professions.

And Galapagos has no intention of letting Fauchon rest on its laurels, according to Jérôme Tacquard, its Managing Director. We like benchmark brands that have stood the test of time. Our aim is to continue and cultivate the Fauchon heritage.

The network of Fauchon boutiques is set to continue expanding, whether in the form of corners, directly-operated stores or with local partners.

 

A dozen new gourmet hotels

 

Other “hôtels gourmands” will also be built. Jérôme Tacquard says he expects “a dozen or so by 2030”. The first of this new series will open in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) in 2026. In the same country, Jeddah, and elsewhere, Bodrum (Turkey) and Dubai are on the Group’s list of hotel projects. Portugal and the United States are also on the Group’s radar.

 

Finally, to complete its redeployment, Fauchon is announcing the launch of a new website in a few months’ time.

Fauchon has not finished making its name shine around the world.

 



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Featured Photo: © Fauchon

Picture of Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef has worked for more than 30 years in the professional press. For fifteen years, she managed the French and international editorial staff of the Journal du Textile. She now puts her press, textile, fashion, and luxury expertise at the service of newspapers, professional organizations, and companies.

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