The new tannery project could create 150 jobs, according to French press reports. Kering, however, declined to comment.

A source close to the project confirmed there are plans to build a new tannery in Périers, Normandy, close to the existing one, which currently employs around 50 people.

The expertise of the local labour force and the municipal council’s commitment to building a water treatment plant serving the new tannery as well as to taking on responsibility for the conversion of the existing plant are key factors in the project going ahead.

The plant will have six times the capacity of its predecessor and is earmarked to start operations mid-2016.

Founded in 1974 by Jacques Lewkowicz, France Croco is a leading exotic leather tannery, located in Normandy and specialising in the sourcing, tanning and processing of crocodilian skins. Previously owned and headed by the founder’s son Dan Lewkowicz, France Croco supplies high quality crocodilian skins for watchstraps, leather goods, ready-to-wear and shoes to most of the world’s best known Italian and French fashion and accessories houses, including houses belonging to Kering. France Croco’s sourcing activities also set high standards for sustainability and conservation of wildlife species.

France Croco’s activities are highly complementary to Caravel, another tannery owned by Kering in Italy, specialised in sourcing and tanning of exotic skins.

Kering, formerly known as PPR, operates a number of luxury brands, including Gucci, Brioni and Saint Laurent, and a handful of sportswear brands such as Puma and Volcom.

Luxury brands love buying tanneries