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French Fashion Brand Sonia Rykiel Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Sonia Rykiel has officially entered receivership in France.

Receivership is the equivalent of filing a petition in the U.S. seeking bankruptcy court protection. The petition was filed Tuesday by First Heritage Brands, which took complete ownership control of the fashion house in 2017 after taking an 80 percent majority stake in 2012. First Heritage, formerly Fung Brands, is backed by Victor and William Fung. The Fung brothers are Hong Kong billionaires whose family is connected to the conglomerate Li & Fung.

Following Sonia Rykiel’s entrance into receivership, a French court placed it in administration so it can review any forthcoming offers for the company under a supervised auction.

News of the brand entering receivership follows the filing of a Chapter 7 petition in the U.S. earlier this month to liquidate operations here. It is believed that the majority of the brand’s stores are now shuttered, with the exception of about a dozen locations still in operation in France.

The brand’s former creative director, Julie de Libran, left the company in March.

Sonia Rykiel, the brand’s namesake, was known for her colorful knitwear designs. She disclosed in 2012 that she had Parkinson’s disease. Rykiel passed away on Aug. 25, 2016 from complications related to the disease.