MILAN — Labelux Group continues its shopping spree.
Afterlast month’s acquisition of Jimmy Choo, the Swiss luxury goods companyhas added outerwear specialist Belstaff, known for its waxed cottonbiker garb, to its portfolio.
“Belstaff is a unique asset withgreat heritage, a strong following and a very promising future as amajor international luxury brand,” said Reinhard Mieck, chief executiveofficer of Labelux Group, whose portfolio also includes Bally, DerekLam, Solange Azagury-Partridge and accessories company Zagliani.
Accordingto Manuele Malenotti, ceo of Belstaff, the new venture has resulted inBelstaff Italia, a new company that will produce the namesake line. Thevalue of the cash-and-debt transaction is 110 million euros, or $161million at current exchange rates, said Malenotti.
Previously,Belstaff was part of the Malenotti family-owned Clothing Company, anentity that will continue to exist and produce the Capalbio and LewisLeathers lines.
Malenotti said Belstaff’s 2010 sales stood at80 million euros, or $117 million, a 10 percent increase over theprevious year. The U.S. and the U.K. registered the strongest growth.
Tosustain its growth, in 2008, Belstaff had planned an initial publicoffering but pulled the plug when the global recession hit and consumerspending dwindled. The alternative became finding a strategic investorthat would accelerate Belstaff’s international growth on many fronts,notably design, retail, production and exports.
Elsewhere, theMalenotti family established M Symbol, a company that will allow it toproduce clothes for movies. “The marketing strategy is to leverage onour know-how and production facilities to actually produce clothes forthe sets,” said Malenotti, adding that the first effort was craftingjackets for the film “Captain America.”
Belstaff, in fact, has asolid tie with Hollywood, a project set in motion years ago by Manueleand his brother Michele.
Over the years, the brand’s jacketshave appeared in about 90 movies and are featured in about a dozen filmseither out now or due out over the next six months, including “RealSteel,” “Twilight,” “X-Men: First Class,” “The Girl With the DragonTattoo” and “War Horse.”
The Malenottis also established a fund,whose investors include Unicredit bank and Banca Intesa, aimed atsupporting luxury goods, safeguarding Made in Italy production andItalian cinema and promoting renewable energy technologies.
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