Kering Sells Sergio Rossi to Investindustrial

PARIS — Kering said it has reached a deal to sell 100 percent of its Sergio Rossi business to European investment house Investindustrial.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction includes the Italian luxury shoe label’s trademark rights and distribution network, Kering said.

Sources had pegged the selling price between 40 million and 50 million euros, or $43.4 million to $54.3 million, which includes the brand’s factory outside Florence.

“The agreement will allow the Sergio Rossi brand to continue its path of development with a strategic partner that can support the brand solidly and with prospects for long-term growth,” Kering said.

Sergio Rossi had been one of the French group’s smallest properties, overshadowed by megabrands such as Gucci and Saint Laurent. And it had failed to live up to its potential within Kering’s portfolio, with Rossi himself leaving, and the brand seeing a revolving door of managers and designers.

WWD was the first to report that Kering was preparing a sale process on Feb. 13, and had identified Investindustrial among contenders on June 30.

Investindustrial’s portfolio of brands includes Aston Martin, B&B Italia and Flos.

Andrea C. Bonomi, senior partner at Investindustrial, said it would seek “the same growth path” for Sergio Rossi as those brands, noting that the industrial group has had “numerous success stories” growing and developing heritage names such as Ducati, Ruffino, PortAventura, Gardaland and Stroili.

Sergio Rossi counts more than 80 stores – both directly operated and franchises – mainly in EMEA, the United States, southeast Asia and Japan, along with wholesale distribution to such retailers as Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Lane Crawford and Harrods.

Investindustrial has about 2.9 billion euros of assets under management, and provides “industrial solutions and capital to mid-market companies in Europe,” Kering noted.

Other contenders for Sergio Rossi are believed to have included the private equity firms Emerisque and Lion Capital, former owner of Jimmy Choo.

The transaction caps off a busy year for shoe deals as Marquee Brands LLC took control of Bruno Magli, founded in Bologna in 1936, and Coach Inc. acquired Stuart Weitzman from Sycamore Partners in a transaction valued at $574 million.

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