French delicatessen Fauchon bought by Breton biscuit firm

Breton group Galapagos has bought out Fauchon, which had seen business hit by the pandemic (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN)
Breton group Galapagos has bought out Fauchon, which had seen business hit by the pandemic (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN)

French gourmet food and delicatessen company Fauchon said Tuesday it has been bought out by Galapagos, a Brittany-based biscuit maker.

The luxury grocer, owned since 2004 by Eucelia Investments, has racked up debts after years of losses, with the Covid pandemic also taking a heavy toll.

"Eucelia Investments SA, investment company of the Ducros family, has chosen to sell the company to the Tacquard family at the head of the Breton group Galapagos," according to a statement that did not give a value for the deal.

In 2020, the grocer created by Auguste Fauchon in 1886 had to close its historic central Paris stores on Place de la Madeleine as it tried to pare debts that had reached about five million euros ($5.5 million).

It returned to profit last year after opening a dozen venues selling Fauchon-stamped teas, coffees, macaroons, foie gras and champagne, and had been looking to focus on hotels and international sales, chairman Samy Vischel told AFP late last year.

Galapagos's general director Jerome Tacquard is to take over the reins following a buyout that he said would bring major synergies and "allow Galapagos to anchor itself even more firmly in the world of French haute cuisine".

Fauchon is currently present in 15 countries, including Japan -- its second-largest market after France -- and in the Middle East.

Including franchisees, it employs around 1,000 people and has also opened hotels in Paris and Kyoto, Japan, while it plans a third for 2025 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

It also opened a gastronomy school in 2022 in Rouen, in partnership with a business school.

Galapagos, a family-owned group specialising in biscuits and chocolate founded in 1990, is headquartered in the western city of Rennes and has 600 employees for 125 million euros of annual sales, compared to 100 million euros for Fauchon