We held up the publication of this issue until now to be able to report on the future of Logo Eyewear, the insolvent eyewear licensee for LVMH’s Tag Heuer and Fred brands. A bankruptcy court in Lyon was scheduled to approve or reject on Nov. 2 a conditional takeover proposal for the insolvent group by Cemo, another French manufacturer of eyeglasses that was taken over in 2013 by Pierre Verrier, a former shareholder and chief executive of Logo from 2008 to 2011.
According to an official of Logo, the court has now given Cemo time until Nov. 15 to provide new and more concrete elements to support its bid, stressing that this will be the last chance for Logo to avoid liquidation. Cemo has proposed to buy only some assets of the company and to hire only about 30 of its employees, mostly technicians, who would be transferred to its own factory in another part of the Jura region of France, as long as it can also take over the licenses with Tag Heuer and Fred.
That would mean the elimination of the remaining 140 jobs at Logo and the shutdown of its factory at Morez. Many local subcontractors to which the firm ows money would suffer, too.
About 30 other employees of Logo, including some high-level managers, already left the company after it went into bankruptcy proceedings last May 12, following indications by LVMH that it was not going to renewe its contract with Logo for Tag Heuer and Fred, due to mismanagement.
As it turns out, these two eyewear lines represented lately more than 90 percent of Logo’s turnover, which has gone down from more than €50 million to around €40 million per year. The company was planning to launch a new house brand, Aeroline, and three new licenses with Rossignol, Leica and MacLaren (Eyewear Intelligence, Vol. 17 N° 3), evidently to make up for the loss of Tag Heuer and Fred, but it was apparently too late. It was also planning to move into “intelligent eyewear.”
As for Cemo, the company specialized in eyewear “made in France.” It had two production sites, but it recently grouped all the production in Morbier. It makes acetate and metal eyeglasses for Théo in Belgium and for French brands like Anne & Valentin, JF Rey, Parasite and Vuarnet. It also makes smart glasses for Atol, a French voluntary group of independent opticians.