Aeffe, which controls the Alberta Ferretti, Moschino and Pollini brands, said Wednesday it has bought back a 20 percent stake in the group from merchant bank San Paolo IMI. San Paolo bought the stake in Aeffe in 2000.
MILAN — Aeffe, which controls the Alberta Ferretti, Moschino and Pollini brands, said Wednesday it has bought back a 20 percent stake in the group from merchant bank San Paolo IMI. San Paolo bought the stake in Aeffe in 2000.
"The market is very favorable, Aeffe is growing well and we wanted to be more autonomous in order to directly decide and manage our future strategies," said Massimo Ferretti, chairman of the company, who, with his sister Alberta, now controls 100 percent of Aeffe.
While Aeffe's original plan in 2000 was to do an initial public offering, Ferretti said now, "The stock market is not a priority."
Ferretti, who declined to provide a figure for the transaction with the bank, said San Paolo "contributed to the growth of the company," helping Aeffe take control of Moschino in 1999 and Pollini in 2001. Aeffe developed the Pollini accessories brand into a ready-to-wear collection, which is designed by Rifat Ozbek.
"We needed to acquire Pollini's know-how," said Ferretti, referring to that company's production of accessories for the brands under the Aeffe umbrella. Pollini also has licensing deals with Narciso Rodriguez and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Aeffe started producing Moschino under license in 1983, and, five years later, launched the Cheap and Chic line. "It was a priority for us at the time to consolidate the relationship with Moschino," said Ferretti, referring to the opportunity of purchasing that brand in 1999.
As for future agreements, sources here indicate Aeffe is poised to ink a deal with Dsquared to produce and distribute the brand's footwear collection.
Ferretti was particularly upbeat about business in 2006, a year that registered a 34 percent increase in pretax profits to 12.3 million euros, or $15.4 million at current exchange, compared with the previous year, on a 6 percent increase in sales to more than 260 million euros, or $325 million. "We've already booked our orders for spring/summer 2007, which shows a 14 percent hike," said Ferretti.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 8 percent to 30.9 million euros, or $38.6 million. Ferretti attributed the results to a reorganization of the company, additional group synergies and a "significant improvement in the retail division."Ferretti said the company is investing in new stores around the world, in particular in emerging markets, which are "increasingly important for us." In 2007, Aeffe will open Alberta Ferretti boutiques in Beijing and New Delhi, Moschino boutiques in New Delhi and Istanbul, and Pollini stores in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
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