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Galapagos Group takes over French gourmet grocer Fauchon


A Breton has just acquired the luxury house of Fauchon. Galapagos, the group that owns the Traou Mad and Gavottes brands, has just announced its purchase of the upmarket grocer. Here is an in-depth analysis by the experts at AURIS Finance, a consultancy specialising in mergers and acquisitions.

The consumer goods retail sector has recently seen a move involving two family businesses. The grocer Fauchon, owned by the Ducros family through its investment company Eucelia Investments SA, is to be taken over by Galapagos, a group owned by the Tacquard family from the Brittany region.

Gradual debt reduction

Founded in 1886 by Auguste Fauchon, this upmarket grocer has been going through a difficult time in recent years. In the wake of the Covid crisis, the group was forced to close a number of shops, including its historic location on Place de la Madeleine. Unable to pay its debts, the group was placed under court-supervised receivership in July 2020. The administration was accompanied by a business continuation plan, which involved a staggered repayment of debts between 2020 and 2028, and resulted in a number of redundancies. In 2023, Fauchon returned to growth, opening around ten new international shops. The group is now present in 15 countries and has a total of 85 shops.

Strategic diversification

In recent years, the grocer has refocused its business on high value-added products: tea, coffee, macaroons, foie gras and champagne. At the same time, the group has stepped up its hotel development strategy, opening a hotel in Paris and then one in Tokyo.

The total investment for the Paris hotel, which opened in 2018, was €20 million. The group plans to open a third hotel in Riyadh as early as 2025. These properties have all the hallmarks of this luxury brand, relying on digital technology to make it easier for guests to check in and out.

Regional gastronomy

The acquisition of Fauchon represents a major growth opportunity for the Galapagos family group, which has been expanding through acquisitions since 2010. In 2013, the Breton biscuit manufacturer generated sales of €160 million with its Traou Mad brand of Pont Aven cakes. From this “flagship of Breton gastronomy”, the group has continued to expand, focusing on acquiring brands with strong local roots.

Following the acquisition of pasta producer Alpina Savoie, the Group acquired the Alsatian company Heimburger, owner of Pâtes Grand’Mère. In 2021, the Galapagos Group took over Maison Fossier, producer of the famous pink ladyfinger biscuits from Reims. At the time, the Reims biscuit factory, which had been hit hard by the pandemic, was losing momentum. Sales had fallen from €12 million to €8 million between 2020 and 2021. The Galapagos Group put its factories and sales force at the service of Maison Fossier and managed to turn the business around.

Our experts at your side

With Fauchon, the Galapagos Group is pursuing its strategy of acquiring a strong brand that is experiencing economic difficulties. However, Fauchon’s local roots are very different from those of the group’s other brands. The Galapagos Group currently generates only 20% of its sales outside France. It will therefore have to step up its strategy outside of the country. Within the AURIS Finance group, our experts are specialised by sector. Our consumer goods team can help you structure your activities. Whether you are an acquirer looking for a target or a seller looking for a financial partner, our experts are at your side.

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#Food, Beverage & Agribusiness