Golden Goose London Flagship

MILAN — Negotiations over Golden Goose have accelerated and a sale could be finalized as early as mid-February, according to market sources.

Two private equity funds — Permira and Advent — are said to be neck-and-neck in securing the deal to buy the Italian brand from the current owner, the Carlyle Europe Buyout fund.

As reported in November, sources told WWD that a “teaser dossier” had been presented to potential bidders and that seven to eight companies had shown some interest. These ranged from PVH Corp. and Permira to Advent and Ralph Lauren Corp. Tapestry Inc., parent of Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, was also said to have expressed an interest in Golden Goose.

Sources said Carlyle could pocket between 1.3 billion euros and 1.5 billion euros. The highest range of the valuation would be 17 to 18 times the company’s 2019 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and about 15 times the expected 2020 EBITDA, one source said.

Figures for 2019 have not been released yet, but revenues last year are expected to reach $300 million, up from $205 million in 2018. EBITDA is forecast to reach around $90 million in 2019, an increase from $51 million the previous year. According to a source, the plan is to reach sales of $510 million and EBITDA of around $160 million in 2022.

Sneakers are the brand’s core business and account for around 80 percent of sales, but Golden Goose has been expanding its accessories and ready-to-wear categories. The women’s division accounts for 70 percent of sales. The company has also been boosting its proprietary online channel, which is expected to account for 10 to 15 percent of sales in two or three years, and building a network of stores. Since March 2017, the company has opened 50 stores, reaching a total of 58 last year, and the brand is available at around 900 wholesale accounts. Wholesale represents 60 percent of revenues.

The brand is helmed by chief executive officer Silvio Campara and the role of chairman is held by Patrizio di Marco. The collections are designed by an in-house team, but, as reported, former Gucci creative director Frida Giannini is said to have joined Golden Goose to work on the brand’s accessories and apparel. This is an encore for Giannini and her husband di Marco, as the couple worked together at Gucci, when the executive was that brand’s chairman and ceo before Marco Bizzarri.

Any sale of Golden Goose would be a quick turnaround for Carlyle, which acquired the Marghera, Italy-based company in 2017 from Ergon Capital Partners and Zignago Holding SpA, controlled by the Marzotto family, as well as the company’s founders and management team.

Ergon acquired a majority stake in Golden Goose in 2015. Style Capital held a minority stake in the Italian brand, which was founded by creative directors Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo.

Last February, Campara told WWD that the goal was to continue to expand at a 30 percent organic clip. Revenues almost doubled since the acquisition of Golden Goose by Carlyle in 2017, from 100 million euros in the 2016 fiscal year. When it was acquired, Golden Goose was valued at 420 million euros, with EBITDA of 32 million euros.

Golden Goose achieved much of its success with the Superstar sneaker, which offers 400 variations in one year. The brand prides itself on keeping its products handmade in Italy and offers customization through the Lab project.

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