Fight For French Luxury Group Sheds Light On Chinese Investor Woes

Chinese investors who claim to trace their lineage to a renowned fourth-century calligrapher are fighting to retain control of a 256-year-old French crystal glassmaker, following a series of defaults and a private credit deal gone wrong, the Financial Times reported. The troubles for Beijing-based Fortune Fountain Capital and its struggle to hold on to Baccarat Crystal highlight the problems Chinese investors have run into after taking on excessive leverage to buy European brands — sometimes through private credit deals at lending rates far higher than those of bank loans. Fortune Fountain, which describes itself as a wealth management platform and family office, agreed to buy Baccarat for €164m in June 2017. It promised at the time to also invest up to €30m in the company. Read more