The last quarter of 2013 saw a substantial M&A activity in the luxury and premium branded goods industry. According to the news circulating in the sector, many multinational brands as well as smaller brands are seeking for strategic financial partners that may help the brand to expand and support their business in the globalization era.
This interest of luxury companies in the collection of investment made by financial partners are aimed at collecting funds that may assist them in complex and expensive process of international growth and a consolidation in the high competitive luxury industry.
Among the possible transactions under the spotlight, the main and most known transaction is the selling of the minority participation in Versace. Versace's management assisted by Banca Imi and Goldman Sachs is currently carrying out the selection of financial partners competing for the acquisition of a participation ranging from 15% to 20% of Versace which will be accomplished by a capital increase. November 25, 2013 was the deadline for the offers by seven possible investors that have successfully passed a preliminary round of selection. According to the latest rumors, Fondo Strategico Italiano, FinvestCorp (the investment company based in Bahrain) and the private equity investment funds Ardian and Blackstone seem to be some of the offerors. The goal of Versace seems to launch an IPO within 3/4 years.
In addition to Versace, in the past months many other brands such as Stone Island, Harmont & Blaine, Chantecler, Peuterey and Fratelli Rossetti have appointed financial advisors in order to find a possible financial partners interested in the purchasing of at least a minority participation as shown in the following table from Sole24ore dated November 8, 2013.
If the research of a financial partner seems to be the main strategic option pursued by luxury and branded goods companies in the last month of 2013, however several luxury brands should be on sale (e.g. Arena, Bruno Magli, Jacob Cohen, etc.) making the luxury industry one of the hottest and active M&A sector for the 2013 and 2014. (Article first published in Portolano Cavallo Newsletter Inform@ Corporate, December 2013)
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