Shiseido Makes Bid for Jean Paul Gaultier

jean paul gaultier sought by shiseido
Photo: Imaxtree
A look from the Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 2011 runway

Jean Paul Gaultier has scored yet another suitor.

Following Hermès's announcement that it was selling its 45 percent stake in the French designer's eponymous label, a new bidder has emerged: Japanese beauty giant Shiseido.

The company has joined forces with China's Fung Capital to place a bid for the free-agent fashion house, sources tell Reuters.

Having a substantial stake in Gaultier would allow the two companies to help the label expand in Asia. It would also give Shiseido the power to retain its fragrance license with Gaultier (set to expire in mid-2016) under its Paris-based Beauté Prestige International (BPI) subsidiary.

"We have had excellent relations with Gaultier for 20 years," BPI chief executive Remy Gomez told the news agency, though he declined to comment on a bid. "We have built a great perfume business together."

The deal also represents renewed interest in Gaultier from Fung (whose Li & Fung subsidiary has launched Rachel Zoe's fashion line, among others). The company had previously pulled out of talks after Spanish fragrance brand Puig entered negotiations.

Given all this interest from the beauty business, one has to wonder what's really at stake here: Gaultier's clothes or his fragrances?

Speaking of fragrances, see which celebrity is launching three new scents.