MILAN — Marking another change at a family-controlled Italian company, a new owner has taken a majority stake in Trussardi S.p.A.
According to the deal, independent asset management company QuattroR controls 70 percent of a new company called Levriero Holding, named after the greyhound, which is the symbol of the Trussardi company. The remaining 30 percent is owned by Tomaso Trussardi. Levriero Holding controls 86 percent of Finos, the sole shareholder of Trussardi S.p.A. As a result, QuattroR controls about 60 percent of the Italian firm.
This confirms a WWD report in October indicating QuattroR as a Trussardi suitor.
Tomaso Trussardi will take on the role of chairman of the company and chairman of Finos. He was previously chief executive officer of Finos.
Financial details were not disclosed but Andrea Morante, chairman of QuattroR, said that Trussardi’s capital and financial structure will be strengthened through a capital increase of about 50 million euros.
“QuattroR seeks to buy Italian companies that have a history, a glorious past, and sustainable brands that are facing financial difficulties or complex generational shifts, and that need a relaunch or a repositioning,” explained Morante, who has longstanding experience as an investment banker and in fashion, and who is chairman of Sergio Rossi as well as a former ceo of Pomellato. “We choose the sectors in Italy where the industry is more present and competitive, such as consumer goods and fashion, which are interesting for the country.”
Morante said that QuattroR was especially interested in Trussardi given its relevance in shaping the Made in Italy history and the luxury goods sector, and in particular he touted the foresight of Nicola Trussardi, Tomaso’s father. “For sure, Nicola Trussardi anticipated his contemporaries, he was one of the first to understand the importance of brand extension, 25, 30 years ago. And this is not banal.” Morante trumpeted the brand’s archives, expressing his confidence in the opportunities to dust off “really very interesting pieces in a very modern way, slowly reinterpreting them. We found out he designed chairs for Alitalia, for example, or ceramics inspired by the collections. And he was the first to understand the value of food, opening the Trussardi bar and restaurant.”
Tomaso Trussardi said he was “convinced that we have created the best conditions to continue to carry out the project originally developed by my father Nicola.” He said he appreciated the “competence” of Morante and QuattroR ceo Francesco Conte. “They both have experience in finance and luxury, but they are not aggressive. They are focused on creating value for the company, without pushing to maximize profit through diffusion lines, for example. I can see that they will help bring back value and luster to the brand.”
Morante said a new team of managers will be revealed shortly and that a five-year plan will help strengthen Trussardi’s brand positioning and visibility globally.
While taking into account the differences in brands and times, Morante remembered how Gucci “almost disappeared” before the arrival of Tom Ford, and the need to inject financial discipline and a managerial structure. “There was a similar complex generational moment of transition,” said Morante, whose résumé includes jobs in London as an investment banker at both Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, and at Gucci, where he helped restructure the luxury goods house under Investcorp, later becoming chief operating officer.
Among the projects in the pipeline at Trussardi, the company will invest in additional categories such as fragrances in partnership with Angelini Group.
“There is a lot of hard work to be done to put the machine in place in terms of logistics and organization. We want to say Trussardi is back and that is the challenge,” said Morante.
Trussardi will present the new course of the brand on Feb. 22 in Milan.
Last year, Trussardi reported sales of 150 million euros. The brand is present in 47 countries with its Trussardi and Trussardi Jeans lines and also has a large portfolio of design products, furniture, perfumes, eyewear and other licensed products. The company has 160 stores in Italy, elsewhere in Europe and Asia. In addition to its online store at Trussardi.com, the label is carried by more than 1,800 multibrand points of sale, corners and department stores.
It also operates the Café Trussardi and Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala, near the storied Scala theater in Milan.
Since its inception in 2017, this is the third transaction finalized by QuattroR, which includes Cassa Depositi e Prestiti controlled by the Minister of Economy and Finance. QuattroR stands for four [quattro in Italian] R’s: Recapitalize, Restructure, Relaunch and Reorganize investments. Sixty percent of the company is controlled by QR Partners Srl, an investment vehicle owned by seven members of the investment team. Currently, QuattroR’s portfolio includes investments in Fagioli Group, a leading international engineering company specialized in heavy transport and lifting operations, and in Ceramiche Ricchetti Group, a leading international group active in the production and marketing of ceramic surfaces.
In March last year, a group of six banks subscribed a financing operation for a total value of 51.5 million euros and it was revealed on Tuesday that an agreement was reached with all the banks.
Last April, Gaia Trussardi stepped down from the role of creative director at the Trussardi company. She had joined the family’s business in 2011 as creative director of the Tru Trussardi younger brand. In March 2013, she succeeded Umit Benan Sahin at the helm of the Trussardi main line, debuting with a leather-centered men’s collection for the spring 2014 collection.
A successor was not named.
Gaia Trussardi is the third of the four children of Maria Luisa Gavazzeni and the late Nicola Trussardi, who died in a car accident in 1999. In 2003, their second-born child Francesco also died in a car crash at age 29. The company was founded in Bergamo, Italy, in 1911 by Nicola’s grandfather, Dante Trussardi, as a gloves manufacturer and is known for its luxurious and crafted leather goods.
Gaia is the second member of the fourth generation of the family to leave the company. In 2016, her elder sister Beatrice sold her 25 percent stake to her brother Tomaso, who is ceo of the Trussardi Group, to Gaia and their mother Maria Luisa, who was the group’s president.
Beatrice Trussardi still manages the family’s real estate business, as well as the artistic Nicola Trussardi Foundation.