Chinese retail group Canudilo has acquired a 51 percent stake in Dirk Bikkembergs for 40.68 million euros, or $44.32 million at current exchange rate.
The label, which closed 2014 with revenues of 100 million euros, or $122 million at average exchange rate, was previously controlled by Italian companies Zeis Excelsa and SNV, which both maintain 24.5 percent stakes in the company.
Zeis Excelsa and SNV will continue to produce the brand’s footwear and ready-to-wear collections, respectively.
“We will start investing 60 million euros [$65.3 million] to boost the international expansion of Bikkembergs,” said Fengguo Lin, president of Canudilo group, which in China operates 300 Canudilo monobrand stores, as well as 100 franchised boutiques of international luxury labels, including Bally, Salvatore Ferragamo, Emporio Armani, Rimowa, Montblanc, Tumi, Max Mara and Givenchy, among others. The group also controls a beauty and fragrance retail business. Recently, Canudilo also signed an agreement with Milanese retailer Antonia to open Antonia-labeled stores in China. The first will be a 32,292-square-foot unit in Macau.
As the first step of an ambitious retail expansion plan, a Bikkembergs flagship will open in Macau next year, followed by five more flagships located in China’s most important cities.
“We will start from Asia but in the next six to eight months we will also focus on the United States,” said Zeis Excelsa president and chief executive officer Maurizio Pizzuti. While Bikkmbergs’ Web site is available in the U.S., the label doesn’t operate either a wholesale or retail business in that market.
According to Lin, Canudilo is also investing 70 million euros, or $76 million, in the creation of a high-tech platform able to integrate the brand’s e-commerce with the bricks-and-mortar shopping experience.