Prada Group Buys Minority Stake in Tuscan Tannery

MILAN – Prada Group’s commitment to the Italian supply chain – and its lucrative leather goods division – just grew stronger.

The Italian luxury company said Thursday it has acquired a 43.7% stake in Superior S.p.A, a tannery based in Santa Croce Sull’Arno, on the outskirts of Pisa, Italy.

As part of the deal, Superior founder and current CEO Stefano Caponi will maintain his C-suite position.

“The acquisition of a shareholding in Superior S.p.A. represents another important step in the strategic direction towards vertical integration of the Prada Group’s supply chain, through investments in infrastructure and people, to increase our industrial know-how as well as control quality along all manufacturing stages,” said Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of the Prada Group.

“This venture will enable us to accelerate our progress on important issues such as traceability of raw materials and transparency of our supply chain,” he added.

A 60-year-old tannery, Superior has recently made a digitization push and heightened its sustainability credentials, including energy efficiency and water-saving programs.

“I have been on a long path with Superior that I consider virtuous, with the aim of increasing our environmental sustainability, whether through process or product sustainability. All with the intention of improving our production activities first, then studying technical and process improvements, with the ultimate goal of providing customers with products of excellence… but in a more sustainable way and with the lowest possible environmental impact,” explained Stefano Caponi, CEO of Superior.

“My vision as an entrepreneur has been to find a balance between medium and long-term benefits, guaranteed by industrial innovation and energy efficiency projects, with targeted investments that can be implemented immediately. This agreement with the Prada Group, which contributes to this vision, is a source of great pride and satisfaction for me,” he added.

Characterized by a strong R&D approach, Superior has forged ties with Pisa’s university Scuola Superiore Normale to identify high-tech solutions, including an ultrasound system, aimed at reducing its manufacturing footprint. As of January 2022, Superior is the world’s first tannery to be certified Carbon Neutral, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Prada Group’s acquisition reflects its commitment to the Italian supply chain.

Over the years it has structured its own supply chain and today has 20 production sites in Italy and three in Europe. Last year, in an unexpected venture, Prada and Zegna each bought a 40% stake in Filati Biagioli Modesto SpA, which specializes in the production of cashmere and other precious yarns. The acquisition came a few weeks after Zegna – another luxury group aiming for supply chain power – bulked up its textile division with the takeover of Tessitura Ubertino.

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

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