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.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion