MILAN — Marquee Brands LLC is taking control of Bruno Magli SpA and the transaction is expected to close in early 2015.
Marquee Brands is a brand acquisition, licensing and development company sponsored by Neuberger Berman Private Equity, a business of employee-controlled investment manager Neuberger Berman.
Founded in Bologna in 1936, Bruno Magli’s last owner was Swiss independent asset management firm Da Vinci Invest AG, but in December 2014, the Court of Bologna approved a composition with creditors for the Italian footwear brand, and Neuberger Berman was said to be in the running, together with The Carlye Group. Da Vinci Invest AG had bought Bruno Magli in January 2014 from Fortelus Capital Management LLP, which had owned it since 2007.
“Marquee Brands was created to acquire and grow high-quality brands through product and geographic expansion,” said Michael DeVirgilio, president of Marquee Brands. “Bruno Magli is one of the most revered Italian legacy brands. We have already begun to secure partnerships in new categories with true best-in-class partners for growth at better retailers across the globe.”
Cory M. Baker, chief operating officer of Marquee Brands, said that “rarely do brands with the stature of Bruno Magli become available with an untapped opportunity to market, expand and grow into a lifestyle brand.”
Zachary Sigel, principal of Neuberger Berman and director of Marquee Brands, who is responsible for brand acquisitions for the company, said that the firm is seeking to acquire brands similar to Bruno Magli that can be grown globally.
While the label’s corporate office will be based at the New York headquarters of Marquee Brands, Bruno Magli’s footwear and leather products will continue to be designed in Bologna and made in Italy.