MILAN — The Ermenegildo Zegna Group continues to beef up its textile division.
The Italian luxury company has inked an agreement to buy a 60 percent stake in Tessitura Ubertino. Based in Prativero, in the outskirts of Biella, Italy, and in the same area where Zegna is headquartered, the mill specializes in high-end women’s fabrics such as tweeds and jacquards.
As part of the deal, the Ubertino family will maintain a 40 percent stake and continue to run and manage the business. Financial details were not revealed.
“This new acquisition of Tessitura Ubertino adds a new element to our luxury textile division, which is represented by the finest companies in our country, each one with its own specialization in high-end fabrics. We have always believed in the ‘Italian fashion industry’ supply chain, for which it represents a very important asset,” said Gildo Zegna, chief executive officer of the Trivero-based group.
Founded in 1981 by Adalgiso Ubertino, the mill is now led by his heirs, brothers and co-CEOs Alberto and Paolo.
Alberto Ubertino, who also serves as creative director of Tessitura Ubertino, touted the Zegna group’s global leadership position in men’s wear and textiles. “By sharing the same roots and the tradition in the highest-quality fabrics it has been natural to sign this agreement, to give a new impulse to our company and to reach out to new goals at the same time,” he said. “We are confident that together with Zegna group we will successfully face every new challenge that the market will require,” he added, praising the family mill’s innovative bent.
The agreement helps Zegna strengthen its standing in women’s fabrics and further develop its textile supply chain, which includes Lanificio Zegna, Lanerie Agnona, Tessitura di Novara, Bonotto and Dondi, raising its position in the country in terms of variety and size.
The acquisition follows that of a majority stake in Dondi Group, a leading manufacturer of high-quality jersey fabrics for men and women based in Carpi, outside Modena — one of Italy’s main textile and knitwear hubs. The Dondi-Capelli family continues to own a 35 percent interest in the company and remained in charge of management and creative direction.
At the beginning of 2018, the Zegna group further strengthened its creative offer and production capacity by finalizing the acquisition of a controlling stake in Pelle Tessuta, which specializes in the weaving of leather. These topped the acquisition a year earlier of a minority stake in India’s luxury men’s wear firm Raghavendra Rathore Jodhpur, partnering with Reliance Brands Ltd., and of Cappellificio Cervo, a historic men’s hat brand based in Biella.
The Ermenegildo Zegna Group marked its 110th anniversary in 2020 and closed 2019 with sales of just above 1.3 billion euros, compared with 1.16 billion euros in 2018, also helped by the consolidation of the Thom Browne label, acquired in 2018. Last year the group sold a 70 percent stake in Agnona Srl to the Aimone family, another branch of the Zegna family.
The acquisition of Tessitura Ubertino comes at a particularly delicate time for Italian textile firms, which have increasingly joined forces by way of acquisitions and collaborative ventures in light of declining sales, shortages of financial resources and more difficult access to credit lines, as reported.
Among the latest casualties of the fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, cotton specialist Tessitura Monti was forced to apply for the special administration procedure and is up for sale.
The Maserada sul Piave, Italy-based firm’s assets include its industrial plants in Italy, stock of raw materials, machinery and contracts, as well as its stakes in international operations based in India and Czech Republic and in the production of cotton fabrics and shirts, as well as in the production and sale of weaving machines. Interested parties are required to submit their expressions of interest by June 8.