Golden Goose London Flagship

MILAN — The Carlyle Group is set to purchase the entirety of Golden Goose Deluxe Brand with the intention of driving the label’s retail expansion around the world and strengthen its e-commerce channel.

This confirms a WWD report last month.

Carlyle is buying the Italian fashion company from Ergon Capital Partners and Zignago Holding SpA, controlled by the Marzotto family, as well as the company’s founders and management team.

Although financial terms were not disclosed, a well-placed market source said the private equity fund is placing around 400 million euros, or $431.2 million, on the plate, as reported.

Ergon Capital Partners III SA acquired a majority stake in Golden Goose in 2015.

Details about the future of Roberta Benaglia, chief executive officer of private equity fund Style Capital, which held a minority stake in the Italian brand, were not revealed.

As reported, Permira and General Atlantic were also interested in investing in the brand, which was founded by creative directors Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of March.

The investment will be made by Carlyle Europe Partners IV, a European-focused upper-mid market buyout fund. Golden Goose Deluxe Brand will be Carlyle’s fourth significant investment in the European fashion and apparel sector following previous investments in Moncler, TwinSet Simona Barbieri, an Italian fashion company founded by Barbieri, and Dutch lingerie firm Hunkemöller International B.V.

Established in 2000 with headquarters in Venice, Italy, Golden Goose is firmly positioned in the luxury sneaker market. Last year revenues totaled more than 100 million euros, or $107.8 million. Exports accounted for almost 60 percent of sales. The company has eight directly operated flagships and the brand is carried in more than 700 multi-brand stores and franchisees.

“We admire Golden Goose’s stylistic unique brand identity, effective business model and undisputed capacity to innovate and create a new category of luxury fashion sneakers,” said Marco De Benedetti,  managing director and co-head of Carlyle Europe Partners. “We look forward to supporting Golden Goose Deluxe Brand with our strategic industry knowledge and through investments to build the potential for the brand, especially in the United States and Asia, and predominantly though an acceleration of its worldwide retail and online presence.”

Emanuele Lembo, managing partner of Ergon Capital Advisors said the transaction was “exactly in line with Ergon’s investment philosophy and approach and we are very pleased with the successful partnership that Ergon has established with an excellent management team and its coinvestors. Over the life of this investment, Ergon has supported the extraordinary development of the company accelerating its sales growth, also through the expansion of the retail network, with a constant focus on operational excellence.”

Lembo concluded by emphasizing the potential of the brand under the lead of The Carlyle Group.

The U.S. generates revenues of 10 million euros, or $10.6 million, and represents the fastest-growing market for Golden Goose. “We expect to reach revenues of 15 million euros [$15.6 million] in 2017 and 30 million [$31.2 million] in three years,” said Benaglia, during an interview with WWD in December.

The brand will open a second store in New York, on Madison Avenue, in the first quarter, as well as a flagship in the Los Angeles Melrose area. A unit in Miami is expected to be unveiled in the second half of the year, while the brand is looking for locations in San Francisco, Dallas and Houston.

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