MILAN — The Della Valles may be about to add to their fortune.
Marcolin SpA — in which Tod’s chief Diego Della Valle and his brother Andrea hold a 40.6 percent stake — said Monday it is negotiating a potential sale of a majority shareholding to private equity firm Pai Partners. The discussions are in an “advanced, but not yet defined, stage,” the Italian eyewear maker said. The deal could be worth about 300 million euros, or $391 million at current exchange.
The development sent Marcolin shares up 6.7 percent on the Milan Stock Exchange Monday to 4.85 euros, or $6.32.
Sources in Milan said if a deal does take place, Pai would launch a takeover bid to delist Marcolin, which produces and distributes eyewear collections for brands including Balenciaga, Dsquared2, Tom Ford, Diesel, Roberto Cavalli and Swarovski, as well as house brands Marcolin and Web Eyewear.
The Della Valles acquired their stake in the company in 2004 through their holdings DDV Partecipazioni Srl and ADV Partecipazioni Srl, joining the board. Diego Della Valle further committed to the company by inking licensing agreements in 2008 for the production and distribution of his Tod’s and Hogan eyewear collections.
In addition to the Marcolin family, with a 30.58 percent stake, other shareholders include Diesel chief Renzo Rosso, with a 2 percent holding, and high-profile Italian entrepreneur Luigi Abete, who owns 10 percent.
While rivals Luxottica and Safilo have succeeded in investing in distribution with their own retail chains, Marcolin is still mainly a production firm. A new owner, said a source here, may want to look into exploring opening retail stores for Marcolin brands.
In 2009, Paris-based Pai Partners walked away from negotiations to buy a stake in Safilo, which was then sold to the Dutch investment company Hal Holding NV. Last year, Pai cashed in on a deal to sell a 69.3 percent majority holding (with Fincoin) in Italy’s largest clothing retailer, Gruppo Coin SpA, to London-based private equity firm BC Partners for 644.5 million euros, or $922.6 million.
Hailing from Benetton Group and Nordica, current Marcolin chief executive officer Giovanni Zoppas was previously chief financial officer and ceo of Coin Group, and may have been a link with Pai Partners.
Marcolin celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. The company was founded in 1961 by Giovanni Marcolin Coffen as Fabbrica Artigiana in Cadore, the eyewear production district in Italy’s Veneto region, and became Marcolin Occhiali Doublé in 1964. The firm went public on the Italian Stock Exchange in 1999. The founder remains chairman of the group, flanked by his twin sons, Maurizio and Cirillo Marcolin.
Hurt by the financial crisis in Europe, Marcolin’s first-half net profits dropped 20.5 percent to 12.6 million euros, or $16.4 million. Revenues — hit by a 15 percent decline in sales in Europe, the group’s largest market, and by the expiration of the Ferrari and John Galliano licenses — decreased 2.7 percent to 121.5 million euros, or $157.7 million.
Dollar amounts have been converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.
The first half saw an improvement in the company’s debt situation, with net debt down to 3.8 million euros, or $4.9 million, compared with 5.7 million euros, or $7.4 million, a year ago.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast