ITTIERRE PLANS TO ACQUIRE SOME DEI MATTIOLI PLANTS
Byline: Samantha Conti
MILAN — Italian designer clothing manufacturer Ittierre has announced plans to purchase factories belonging to Dei Mattioli SpA, the Bologna-based producer of Gianfranco Ferre’s signature women’s collection.
Ittierre, a public company quoted on the Milan bourse, said in a statement this weekend that it had reached an agreement with Franco Mattioli, the owner of Dei Mattioli and Ferre’s business partner, to purchase the factories after due diligence.
The statement said the factories, which are specialized in high-end manufacturing, would continue to produce Ferre’s collections under license.
“This purchase is aimed at diversifying and reinforcing Ittierre’s production base…and signals another step in the company’s plan to acquire industrial know-how in the luxury goods sector,” said Ittierre managing director Giancarlo Di Risio.
“Our aim is to be known as the one and only company with the power to produce every level of designer clothing collection from signature lines to jeans lines and accessories,” he added. Di Risio would not disclose the purchase price.
In a separate statement, Mattioli said: “Ittierre is a dynamic company with strong strategies and management….My hope is that it will help Gianfranco Ferre’s line grow even more.” Dei Mattioli’s annual turnover is some $24 million.
A Ferre spokeswoman declined to comment on the sale.
Ittierre has specialized in jeans and young lines, making Versus, Versace Jeans Couture, D&G, D&G Jeans, Gianfranco Ferre Jeans and Gianfranco Ferre Sport under license.
The company, based in the south-central town of Isernia, also owns and manufactures Exte, a young sportswear line. Last year, Ittierre began producing Romeo Gigli’s signature line in a bid to move into the higher end of the market.
In past months, Ittierre had expressed interest in purchasing Mattioli’s share in Gianfranco Ferre. But Di Risio said the purchase of the Dei Mattioli factories was its top priority, and that Ittierre was no longer interested in purchasing a stake in Gianfranco Ferre.
As reported, Mattioli wants to retire and intends to sell his 49 percent stake in the house of Ferre by the end of this summer. Others interested in buying that stake include Saudi Arabian Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz; Marzotto, the Italian company that produces sportswear collections for Ferre under license, and the Fiat-controlled holding company HdP.
Mattioli and Ferre each hold 49 percent of the fashion house, and the remaining 2 percent is held in a joint trust controlled by the two business partners.
On Friday, Ittierre closed at $3.26, up 0.5 percent from Thursday’s closing price of $3.25.