Clessidra Sgr, which controls the Italian labels, has initiated exclusive and binding negotiations with Italmobiliare SpA, an investment group owned by the Pesenti family.
Claudio Sposito, chairman and chief executive officer of the Milan-based private equity firm who died in January, founded Clessidra in 2003, building it into one of the most active firms in Italy’s luxury and fashion sector. His widow Manuela Sposito is looking at selling 100 percent of Clessidra’s share capital. Sources peg the price tag at around 20 million euros, or $22.5 million at current exchange.
Market sources speculate whether chairman Francesco Trapani, who was rumored to have made an offer to buy Clessidra, will stay on. A former Bulgari ceo, before joining Clessidra in 2014, Trapani was chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s watches and jewelry division. After lengthy negotiations, the acquisition of the Roberto Cavalli brand crystalized under Trapani’s watch. Clessidra also has a 35 percent stake in Harmont & Blaine SpA.
Clessidra said Italmobiliare’s offer was, “among the many received, preferable and worthy” to be followed through and that the negotiations were initiated to “quickly reach the underwriting of a definitive contract.” The agreement is subject to the approval of the relevant parties and authorities.
“In pursuing this new initiative, Italmobiliare will boost Clessidra’s ability to create value by contributing its own industrial management vision and its ability to attract resources to develop the “made in Italy” on a global scale” said ceo Carlo Pesenti. “We hope to reach an agreement soon for the acquisition of the company created by the extraordinary vision and expertise of its founder Claudio Sposito.
”Italmobiliare underlined it “intends to support and grow Clessidra’s activities, ensuring autonomy and independence and strengthen its management structure.”
Italmobiliare, which is publicly listed on the Italian Stock Exchange, manages a diversified portfolio of investments and equity interests for more than two billion euros, or $2.25 billion. The investment in Clessidra is part of Italmobiliare’s “portfolio diversification strategy; the acquisition represents a unique opportunity for the development of the private equity business by acquiring the leading Italian player.”
The powerful Pesenti family founded one the largest cement producers in the world, Italcementi, in Bergamo, Italy, in 1864. The Pesentis, who over the years also controlled banks, insurance companies and automaker Lancia, among other investments, are flush with cash after the recent sale of stakes in Italcementi to Heidelbergcement.