Tod’s Shares Surge After CEO Diego Della Valle Plans to Up Company Stake

Tod’s SpA shares closed up 9.7 percent at 40.94 euros ($46.62) at the end of trading in Milan on Wednesday after rising more than 12 percent during the day. The spike followed a regulatory filing that pointed to plans by one of chairman Diego Della Valle’s holdings to increase its stake in the luxury group by up to 5 percent, or 1.7 million shares.

The holding Diego Della Valle & C. Srl is one of the namesake entrepreneur’s investment vehicles. The Tod’s group includes the Tod’s, Hogan, Fay and Roger Vivier brands.

According to the filing, the holding has signed a contract with Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, under which it agreed to buy up to 1.7 million Tod’s shares through an accelerated shares purchase.

Della Valle and his family own around 60 percent of the Italian shoe and leather goods company.

The move was foreshadowed by chief financial officer Emilio Macellari last month during a conference call with analysts, commenting on the performance of the group in the first nine months of the year. Asked about Della Valle’s recent denial of reports he was considering a sale of the company, following a restructuring of his holdings, Macellari said the business titan “thinks the company is undervalued, the share price does not reflect the value of the company. It’s logical for someone who has very high confidence in what can be achieved to see the share price at not the ideal level. It’s most probable that the family can decide to increase [the stake] in the company, not divest.”

In nine months ended Sept. 30, Tod’s reported a 2.2 percent decrease in revenues to 706 million euros. At constant exchange, they were flat, up 0.1 percent. Macellari said at the time that the turnaround would still need “more time.”

In October, Della Valle denied recurring speculation over a possible sale of the group, saying, “We are buyers, not sellers. If we really had to do an operation, it would be to buy, not to sell.” To further support his involvement, Della Valle emphasized the steps taken to turn around the company and “prepare it for the next 10 years, when we will surely be attentive to new consumers but carefully avoiding going overboard in chasing trends. We must not lose sight of who we are.”

At the time, the entrepreneur addressed the rumors set off by speculation on a reorganization of his holdings, which would isolate his 50.3 percent stake in Tod’s under the Di.Vi. Finanziaria vehicle, another of his holdings. This controls activities ranging from real estate to media, including a stake in RCS MediaGroup, which are said to be spun off into a new holding called Di.Vi. Immobiliare Holding. Della Valle also has a 9.6 percent stake in Tod’s through the Diego Della Valle & C.

As reported in February, the Italian luxury group is overturning its business model and launching a new project called Tod’s Factory, in a reference to Andy Warhol. Employing a system mirroring the streetwear drop, the company is to release a mix of capsules and limited editions in collaboration with designers and friends of the house. Tod’s capsule collection with Alessandro Dell’Acqua, hit stores in mid-November.

Last year, Della Valle refuted speculation he was stepping aside, following a management restructuring at Tod’s, which saw the arrival of new CEO Umberto Macchi di Cellere.

This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.

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