PARIS — Could Sergio Rossi be the next big shoe brand up for grabs?
According to sources, Sergio Rossi parent Kering is quietly preparing a sale process for the Italian footwear company, confident it can get a good price.
Stuart Weitzman and Bruno Magli are among shoe firms that have changed hands in recent months.
Kering officials declined to comment.
Sergio Rossi has long lived in the shadows of glitzier luxury names under the Kering umbrella, such as Saint Laurent, Gucci and Alexander McQueen. Considered part of its “other brands,” Sergio Rossi did not warrant mention during the third-quarter results presentation last October, when a bundle of companies including Balenciaga, Boucheron, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen registered sales growth of 2.2 percent to 362 million euros, or $480.2 million.
What was then Gucci Group acquired 70 percent of Sergio Rossi in 1999 as part of an acquisition spree, eventually taking full control in 2004.
Kering is due to report fourth-quarter figures and second-half profits on Tuesday.
The company, founded by Sergio Rossi in the Fifties, has recently seen a rotation of managers and designers, with creative director Francesco Russo exiting in 2013. Today, Sergio Rossi counts about 90 stores around the world, according to its Web site, along with wholesale distribution to such retailers as Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Lane Crawford and Harrods.
Last month, Marquee Brands LLC said it was taking control of Bruno Magli, founded in Bologna in 1936, and Coach Inc. said it would acquire Stuart Weitzman from Sycamore Partners in a transaction valued at $574 million.