By  on December 16, 2009

The Replay denim brand has a new majority owner.

Equibox Holding SpA, a special-purpose acquisition vehicle, has acquired a 60 percent stake in Fashion Box SpA, owner of the Replay, We Are Replay and Replay & Sons denim and sportswear labels. The other 40 percent of the company has been retained by its original owner, Fashion Box Group SpA, a holding company owned by the family of the late Claudio Buziol, who founded Replay in 1978 and died four years ago.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Replay’s headquarters will remain in Asolo, Italy.

Equibox Holding is controlled by Matteo and Massimo Sinigaglia, who were partners in the Replay footwear business, and Wolfgang Friedrichs, who was a partner in Replay’s German operations. The Sinigaglias own 70 percent of Equibox Holding and Friedrichs owns 30 percent.

“We are particularly happy that Equibox Holding SpA has proved to be the partner who best guarantees a solid industrial development for the Replay brand,” said Paola Buziol, president of Fashion Box Group SpA and widow of Claudio Buziol. “Of the numerous counterparts who showed a strong interest in integrating with Fashion Box, we decided to join with a company that has professionals who are already fundamental partners in Fashion Box’s activities.”

The downturn in the worldwide economy has impacted Replay sales, with Fashion Box’s total 2008 volume declining to 305 million euros, or $452.1 million at average exchange for that year, from about 350 million euros, or $477.1 million, in both 2006 and 2007.

“In these fragile times of market recession, this solution gives us better guarantees of industrial continuity and the ability to stay strongly rooted in the territory, which has allowed our company, since its inception, to develop products made in Italy,” added Buziol.

Upon completion of the deal, Matteo Sinigaglia will become managing director of Fashion Box, said the company. It is unclear at this point if current chief executive officer Gaetano Sallorenzo will remain with the company.

“We are very happy to have reached an agreement with Fashion Box Group SpA for the development of a historic brand in denim like Replay,” said Sinigaglia. “The integration of the skills and industrial experience of both our companies, with the fundamental assistance and experience of Wolfgang Friedrichs, will be a basis for ensuring significant development of the company.”

The Replay brands are distributed in 5,000 points of sale in 50 countries, including a network of 220 freestanding stores. In the U.S., the company operates stores in New York’s SoHo district and the Beverly Center in Los Angeles.

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