PARIS — Bernard Arnault has pocketed a handsome profit via his L Capital investment fund.
The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chief’s investment firm sold Italy’s Stroili jewelry chain to Investindustrial, a fund linked to the Benetton family, for 216 million euros, or $264.6 million at current exchange, according to a spokesman.
Arnault purchased Stroili in September 2004 and merged it with the Franco Gioielli chain that L Capital bought in December 2004. The two combined cost 47 million euros, or $57.6 million, according to L Capital. Debt was added to expand the chain, which sells branded and nonbranded jewelry and watches in Italy, meaning that Arnault’s return was about three times the invested capital, the spokesman said.
The chain operated 140 shops when L Capital came on board. At the end of last year, it had 200 shops and sales reached 85 million euros, or $104.1 million, up about 25 percent. Approximately 80 boutiques are scheduled to open this year.
According to the deal, Investindustrial will hold about 70 percent of the firm, while the current management will get 10 percent and L Capital will reinvest to retain control of about 20 percent.
This story first appeared in the April 7, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.