By and  on May 8, 2008

MILAN — What's up, Duck? Quite a lot.

Despite a denial last month, Italy's Mariella Burani Fashion Group SpA has added bag maker Mandarina Duck to its brand portfolio after all. The purchase price was 36.9 million euros, or $57.3 million at current exchange.

In a statement released early Wednesday, Mariella Burani's leather goods unit, Antichi Pellettieri SpA, said it had acquired 100 percent of Bologna, Italy-based Finduck Srl, parent company of Mandarina Duck.

When asked by WWD about the transaction last month, Paolo Trento, chairman and founder of Finduck, vehemently denied the firm was in play. However, on Wednesday, Giovanni Stella, chief executive officer of Antichi Pellettieri, said, "We are satisfied with the acquisition of Finduck and we retain it represents an excellent opportunity for further growth both for the Mandarina Duck brand and for Antichi Pellettieri in strategic and complementary segments like travel and work."

Mandarina Duck is known for light, functional travel, work and sports bags and accessories made from technical materials.

Last year, Finduck generated sales of around 67 million euros, or $91.8 million at average exchange, with a corresponding earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization margin of more than 13 percent.

Also Wednesday, Antichi Pellettieri said it had acquired the remaining 14 percent of handbag maker Francesco Biasia SpA for 4.5 million euros, or $7 million, for a 100 percent holding.

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