MILAN — Labelux Group continues its shopping spree.
This story first appeared in the June 10, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
After last month’s acquisition of Jimmy Choo, the Swiss luxury goods company has added outerwear specialist Belstaff, known for its waxed cotton biker garb, to its portfolio.
“Belstaff is a unique asset with great heritage, a strong following and a very promising future as a major international luxury brand,” said Reinhard Mieck, chief executive officer of Labelux Group, whose portfolio also includes Bally, Derek Lam, Solange Azagury-Partridge and accessories company Zagliani.
According to Manuele Malenotti, ceo of Belstaff, the new venture has resulted in Belstaff Italia, a new company that will produce the namesake line. The value of the cash-and-debt transaction is 110 million euros, or $161 million at current exchange rates, said Malenotti.
Previously, Belstaff was part of the Malenotti family-owned Clothing Company, an entity that will continue to exist and produce the Capalbio and Lewis Leathers lines.
Malenotti said Belstaff’s 2010 sales stood at 80 million euros, or $117 million, a 10 percent increase over the previous year. The U.S. and the U.K. registered the strongest growth.
To sustain its growth, in 2008, Belstaff had planned an initial public offering but pulled the plug when the global recession hit and consumer spending dwindled. The alternative became finding a strategic investor that would accelerate Belstaff’s international growth on many fronts, notably design, retail, production and exports.
Elsewhere, the Malenotti family established M Symbol, a company that will allow it to produce clothes for movies. “The marketing strategy is to leverage on our know-how and production facilities to actually produce clothes for the sets,” said Malenotti, adding that the first effort was crafting jackets for the film “Captain America.”
Belstaff, in fact, has a solid tie with Hollywood, a project set in motion years ago by Manuele and his brother Michele.
Over the years, the brand’s jackets have appeared in about 90 movies and are featured in about a dozen films either out now or due out over the next six months, including “Real Steel,” “Twilight,” “X-Men: First Class,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “War Horse.”
The Malenottis also established a fund, whose investors include Unicredit bank and Banca Intesa, aimed at supporting luxury goods, safeguarding Made in Italy production and Italian cinema and promoting renewable energy technologies.