After a yearlong search for additional financing, the designer has sold a minority stake in her more than $200 million firm to Tresalia Capital, a Mexico City-based family-owned and -operated investment company known for investing in Mexican projects from young entrepreneurs.
Tory Burch executives declined to divulge the final price and the percentage stake they sold to Tresalia, but industry sources estimate it at between 20 and 25 percent.
Burch and her ex-husband, Christopher Burch, who cofounded Tory Burch five years ago, still jointly own the majority stake in the firm, which now operates 18 freestanding stores and wholesales apparel and accessories to 450 high-end department and specialty stores worldwide. Christopher Burch is still actively involved in the company, but declined comment Thursday.
With the ongoing recession, increasing credit crunch and overall declining retail sales, the Burch deal comes at a time when few acquisitions or other investments are being made in the fashion world. In the past year, only a handful of key brands have inked deals — Jones Apparel Group Inc. acquired a 50 percent stake in Rachel Roy, VF Corp. acquired the Splendid and Ella Moss brands and Iconix Brand Group Inc. purchased Ed Hardy.
Tresalia is run by María Asunción Aramburuzabala, who is president and chief executive officer. According to Tory Burch, her company is Tresalia’s first investment in the apparel industry. Tresalia has invested in several Mexican companies in industries such as telecommunications, real estate, technology, media, education and health, as well as the management of private and venture capital funds and the creation of new companies. Aramburuzabala, who could not be reached for comment, is also a vice chairman at Grupo Modelo, a family-founded Mexican brewery.
“I love that they are a family-owned business and a private company. I felt an instant connection with them when we met, and this is a process we started about a year ago. I’m so thrilled to have closed the deal with the right partner,” said Tory Burch.
Burch said with a new investor, she now has the infrastructure to grow on a global scale, particularly in South America, where sales have been promising in many of the brand’s wholesale accounts.
“The team at Tresalia Capital has the same entrepreneurial values that our brand was built on,” she said. “They have a great understanding of the vision we have for Tory Burch and the future of our company. I look forward to working with them as we continue to expand and diversify our brand on a global scale.”
Burch said she particularly likes that Tresalia’s owners are big believers in philanthropy, and that they’ve encouraged Burch to continue her charitable work.
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