MILAN — Italia Independent has a new chief executive officer, Mario Pietribiasi.
Pietribiasi has a deep knowledge of the eyewear industry. He covered several roles, including country manager, sales director EMEA, ceo for Asia Pacific and global sales director, at Safilo, which he joined in 1987. In 2012, he founded Hong Kong-based eyewear firm Koru.
Italia Independent’s main investor Lapo Elkann will maintain his role of president of the company he cofounded in 2007. “I’m happy to continue guiding Italia Independent in the next few years and with the support of Mario Pietribiasi, I’m sure we will be able to execute the relaunch plan we have already kicked off,” he said.
In February, investment fund Creative Ventures Srl acquired 25.44 percent of Italia Independent.
Creative Ventures Srl is controlled by the fund Talent EuVeca through AVM Gestioni Sgr and investment fund Centurion Global Fund Sicav. Italia Independent is listed on the AIM Alternative Market of Capital segment of the Milan Stock Exchange.
Creative Ventures Srl agreed to increase Italia Independent’s capital by 6 million euros through the issue of 2.6 million shares valued at 1 euro each. At the same time, Elkann further increased the company’s capital by releasing 851,064 shares valued at 1 euro each.
Following the transaction, Elkann retains a 53.59 percent stake in the company.
In 2015, Italia Independent was hit by financial troubles, which required the company to restructure by reducing costs and reinforcing the product offering. To support the relaunch of the firm, Elkann and his brother, John Elkann, increased the company’s capital by 15 million euros in December 2016.
In 2018, Italia Independent continued to operate at a loss, although reduced compared with 2017. In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, the loss amounted to 6 million euros, compared with 9.7 million euros in the previous year. Revenues fell 12.2 percent to 19.3 million euros, due to the sale of nonstrategic assets, compared with 22 million euros at the end of the previous year.