BURANI PURCHASES STAKE IN BALDININI

MILAN — In a bid to diversify its product range and boost sales, Mariella Burani Fashion Group has purchased an interest in the high-end Italian shoe company Baldinini.
The group said in a statement it took a 50 percent stake in Baldinini, and has an option to buy a further 10 percent from founder and owner Gimmi Baldinini over the next year. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Giovanni Burani, co-chief executive of the group, said he was attracted to Baldinini “because of the high margins in the footwear sector and the strong growth rate of the company.” He told WWD that Baldinini’s sales would be approximately $20 million this year, and that volume is growing at a rate of 20 percent annually.
Baldinini also has 29 single-brand stores. Three more will open in Japan this year and another is set to open on London’s Sloan Street in the spring.
Burani added that his group would develop the Baldinini brand, and put it to work producing footwear for its Mariella Burani and Mila Schon brands. The Baldinini-produced collections will bow for spring 2002.
Burani added that the group’s sales should grow to approximately $205 million this year from $150 million in 2000.
Besides owning the Mariella Burani and Mila Schon brands, the group produces the Calvin Klein women’s signature collection, among other labels, under license.

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