By  on June 19, 2007

MILAN — Umberto Angeloni’s relationship with Brioni has come to an official end.

In a DNR exclusive, the Rome-based company said former CEO and his wife Gabriella De Simone, granddaughter of Brioni cofounder Nazareno Fonticoli, sold their shares to Brioni’s other shareholders, which comprises three families.

The couple’s collective holdings totaled 17 percent of Brioni Roman Style SpA. A Brioni spokesman said the company’s majority shareholders had absorbed the 17 percent quota.

The company said in a statement that Italy-based bank, Interbanca SpA, financed a loan for the transaction. Financial terms of the deal; however, were not disclosed nor was the new shareholding structure.

“The share purchase is in line with our growth strategy as an independent luxury brand,” said Andrea Perrone, who as one of Brioni’s three administrative executives spearheads Brioni’s business and global strategy.

“We are confident in our future,” added Antonella De Simone, Gabriella’s sister and head of marketing and communication at the Abruzzo-based company. “We are betting on our ability to continue growing the luxury brand.”

The share purchase marks the end of a yearlong saga that started last June when Angeloni quietly walked away from Brioni amid internal familial conflicts.

DNR broke the news of his departure in September and since then both sides have remained tight-lipped on exactly what transpired.

“My wife and I are very happy and very relieved. [The sale of our shares] ends a period of stress and conflict,” Angeloni told DNR in a phone interview Tuesday. “From a purely economic point of view we find the deal very convenient and I am confident in investing our wealth in other projects than staying a shareholder in Brioni.”

Although Angeloni is now out, his sophisticated vision was instrumental in Brioni’s transformation from a high-end suit maker into a luxury lifestyle brand and $170 million euro business.

Under the new management team, Perrone, grandson of Brioni cofounder Gaetano Savini, has emerged as the defacto figurehead.

So far in his early tenure, Perrone has steered focus back to product and in reinforcing relationships with key retail partners.

A sportswear push is underway as is a more articulated presence with key wholesale accounts, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman in the U.S.

On the retail front, Perrone and his team have inaugurated new boutiques in Russia, Dubai, India and Azerbaijan. Brioni is set to opening new units in Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Hong Kong over the coming months.

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