French lifestyle and denim brand Kaporal has appointed Laurence Paganini, 49, as CEO. Kaporal, a former manager at Carrefour and 3 Suisses replaces Santiago Cuchy, who was hired in summer 2012 and has left the company after one year. Laurence Paganini has also entered into the board of directors of Kaporal.

Laurence Paganini was educated at the recognized business school, Essec in France. She joined the distribution group Carrefour in 1997, first as director at hypermarket affiliate, then as buyer and later business-director in different segments before she was named marketing director of the group. In 2006 she left the company for the perfumery chain Marionnaud. In 2009 she joined the mail-order firm 3 Suisses (groupe 3SI) as CEO, where she was responsible for the modernization of the company and positioning it in e-commerce.

The appointment at the head of the business of Kaporal comes just months after TowerBrook, an international investment management firm, took majority stake in the Marseille-based company. The prior stakeholder, MBO Partenaires and founder Laurent Emsellem, now minor shareholders, are reinvesting in the company: Laurent Emsellen will retain responsibilities at the company, especially as board member. MBO shares are reduced to 33%. The transaction took place in July 2013 after one year of proceedings.

Founder Emsellen: “We have worked hard over the years to build our Company and I look forward to taking its growth to the next level with the support of TowerBrook. I strongly believe that TowerBrook, with its extensive retail experience, is the perfect partner to develop specific areas of the business, such as our retail and online strategies, with longer-term potential for expansion outside of our core markets today.” One of the strategic claims is the internationalization of the brand. Kaporal presently only does 12% of its business outside its home-market, France.

Laurent Emsellen founded Kaporal in 2004. During the years Kaporal has grown into a well-known denim and lifestyle brand for the middle range and for styles with sophisticated finishings. After years of strong growth the enterprise today achieves revenues about 100 million euros and boasts 70 points of sale.

TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. (“TowerBrook”) is an investment management firm based in Europe and the USA, focusing on making investments in European and North American large and middle market companies. The transaction with Kaporal comes shortly after TowerBrook acquired Californian-based denim brand True Religion.