Sergio Rossi Sale Buzz: Kering Could Be Shopping The Luxe Shoe Brand

The M&A market keeps getting hotter — Sergio Rossi could be the next luxe brand to change hands.

Sources told WWD that Sergio Rossi parent Kering is quietly preparing to sell the Italian footwear company, confident that the brand can attract a good price.

Recent footwear-brand sales include Stuart Weitzman, sold to Coach Inc. for $574 million, and Bruno Magli, which got a new owner in January.

Kering officials declined to comment.

Sergio Rossi has long lived in the shadows of glitzier luxury names under the Kering umbrella, such as Saint Laurent, Gucci and Alexander McQueen. Considered one of its “other brands,” Sergio Rossi did not warrant mention during Kering’s third-quarter-results presentation last October, when a bundle of brands, including Balenciaga, Boucheron, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, registered sales growth of 2.2 percent, to 362 million euros, or $480.2 million.

In 1999, what was then Gucci Group acquired 70 percent of Sergio Rossi as part of an acquisition spree, eventually taking full control in 2004.

Kering is due to report fourth-quarter figures and second-half profits on Tuesday.

The shoe brand, founded by Sergio Rossi in the 1950s, has recently seen a churn of managers and designers, with Creative Director Francesco Russo exiting in 2013. He was replaced by Angelo Ruggeri.

Meanwhile, Rossi’s son, Gianvito Rossi, continues to build his own luxe namesake line.

“I have a very good staff working with me, which it helps a lot, but most important is my father’s advice,” Gianvito Rossi told FN in 2013, the same year he received the Designer of the Year award.

With Gianvito’s own daughter and son, ages 16 and 21, respectively, already showing an interest in the business, the Rossi shoe legacy is sure to continue. “Fashion is a very attractive world, and I hope I will transfer to them what I have learned, as my father did with me. I want our family legacy to be the making of beautiful shoes.”

 

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