Sale of the Groupe YSL to Elf-Sanofi

Having found itself heavily in debt, the Groupe Yves Saint Laurent joined Sanofi in 1993. The Groupe was subsequently divided in two, with Sanofi owning 100 % of Yves Saint Laurent Perfumes and Yves Saint Laurent Couture remaining managed by Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent—despite Sanofi owning over half of its capital. The merger made Sanofi the third most powerful fragrance group worldwide after L’Oréal and Estée Lauder.  

This is an important day because it marks the merger of Yves Saint Laurent and Elf-Sanofi. For over thirty years, I have done all I could to establish a label worthy of representing France throughout the world. I did so without making any compromises or concessions. As the first couturier to be exhibited in New York at the Metropolitan Museum, I have shown my work in Moscow, Saint Petersburg at the legendary Hermitage Museum, Beijing before suprised Chinese spectators, Sydney, Tokyo, and, of course, Paris. I have in my own way tried to show that fashion is an art. In that respect, I have followed the advice of my master Christian Dior and heeded Mademoiselle Chanel’s eternal lesson. I designed for my era, and I tried to predict what tomorrow would be. I have always stayed away from tricks and gimmicks, and I have always believed that style is more important than fashion. There are many fashionmakers, but those who have managed to impose their style are rare. Throughout all these years, especially the last few, I have thought about the continuity of my house and my name. Today I am happy that Yves Saint Laurent will now be under Elf-Sanofi’s management. It is a powerful group and, above all, a French group. That is what I wanted, and I trust that, along with Pierre Bergé and me, Monsieur Dehecq will pursue the work I started. 

Yves Saint Laurent.