PARIS — French consumers might not be in a mood to shop, but Bernard Arnault seems to be.
On Wednesday, L Capital, the investment fund sponsored by his LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton luxury empire, slapped down $27.1 million to buy a 30 percent stake in the leather goods subsidiary of Mariella Burani Fashion Group SpA.
Dollar figures are converted from euros at current exchange. In local terms, L Capital paid 25 million euros.
Antichi Pellettieri SpA, formed by Burani two years ago, controls seven companies that make and distribute footwear, handbags and small leather goods under the Baldinini, Sebastian, Braccialiani, Biasia, Mandelli and Cerruti brands.
Jean Cailliau, director of L Capital, said Antichi was selected for its stable of prestigious brands and quality management.
“It is important for our company to have a link with such an important world player,” said Giovanni Burani, chief executive of Mariella Burani Fashion Group, adding there no intentions for L Capital to increase its stake.
Details of how the companies will work together still have to be ironed out and it’s not clear whether Antichi will produce any leather goods for LVMH brands, which include Fendi, Loewe and Celine. “There are still details to be discussed, but there is space to collaborate,” Burani said.
To date, L Capital has spent roughly 40 percent of the $285.7 million in its coffers to purchase minority stakes in sportswear firm Gant USA, home fragrance specialist Lampe Bergere, toy retailer Imaginarium, video-game retailer Micromania and health supplement maker Forte Pharma.
Cailliau declined to comment on future investment targets, but said they span fashion and accessories, home goods, cosmetics, “well-being” products and specialty retailers, with a focus on the fast-growing market for “accessible luxury.”
Last year, Antichi Pellettieri had sales of $81.2 million and EBIT of $10.3 million. Its distribution network includes 46 single-brand stores.
Separately, sources said that LVMH recently acquired the 50 percent of the Italian perfume firm Acqua di Parma it didn’t already own. The purchase price could not be learned. LVMH first took a stake in Acqua di Parma in 2001 for an undisclosed sum.