MILAN — The future of hat maker Borsalino lies in the public auction that has been scheduled for July 12. To be held at the court of Alessandria, the Italian city where the company is based, the auction’s deadline has been set for 4 p.m. The binding offers for the insolvent company will start from a minimum amount of 6.4 million euros.
Private equity group Haeres Equita, which in 2016 took control of the luxury firm and last July acquired the right to use the Borsalino label from bank Mediocredito for a sum of 18 million euros, will bid more than 7.8 million euros, WWD has learned.
The winner will take home the manufacturing capabilities, 130 employees, nine stores (that are renting the locations) and one boutique in Alessandria that is directly owned. Haeres Equita already owns the right to the name of the brand.
The two administrators selected by the court of Alessandria rejected a petition for a composition with creditors filed by Haeres Equita, but allowed the fund to prolong the rental of the company, which by Italian law is a necessary step, until the end of July 2018. This enabled Haeres Equita to guarantee Borsalino’s business would not be halted, shipping merchandise and protecting employees.
Borsalino, founded in 1857, was hit by financial problems in 2015, when previous owner Marco Marenco was arrested in Lugano, Switzerland, at the end of April. He had been wanted by the police since the previous summer for fraudulent bankruptcy and tax evasion related to a web of holdings, mainly in gas and energy, for a total worth of 3.5 billion euros, or $3.9 billion.
In 2017, Borsalino registered revenues of 17.5 million euros, in line with the previous year.
After the dedicated postage stamp launched in April last year, Borsalino honored its 160th anniversary in 2017 by releasing a limited-edition hat, named “Siur Pipen.”
The moniker refers to the way the company’s founder Giuseppe Borsalino was affectionately called by his fellow citizens (Mr. Giuseppe). In keeping with the tribute, the Italian hat manufacturer decided to produce only 160 units of the signature medium-brimmed style Borsalino created in the late 1800s.
Crafted in peacock blue vicuña felt, the Siur Pipen hat features a hatband in blue astrakhan fur with tobacco-hued piping. The brand’s signature bow in grosgrain completes the style.