STEFANEL BUYS HALLHUBER CHAIN

MILAN — In a move to expand its presence in Germany, Italian clothing manufacturer and retailer Stefanel has purchased the Munich-based retail chain Hallhuber GMBH.
Stefanel, which operates some 700 name-brand stores worldwide, bought 95 percent of the German company for approximately $17.5 million.
The 44 Hallhuber stores sell midmarket clothing under the eponymous label, as well as Marithe & Francois Girbaud and Calvin Klein jeans.
“This is a strategically important move for us and one that will help our expansion in Germany,” said Giuseppe Stefanel, chairman of the company that is listed on the Milan bourse.
“We are buying some of the most beautiful, well-positioned retail space in Germany’s cities and are very happy about that. Wholly owned stores both for Stefanel and Hallhuber are the key to our future,” he added during a news conference here to announce the deal.
Gunther Bergmann, Hallhuber’s chief administrator, will hold the remaining 5 percent of the company and oversee both Hallhuber and Stefanel’s German division.
Stefanel currently has 34 stores in Germany, 23 of which are directly operated and 11 of which are franchises. Stefanel’s sales in Germany are approximately $15 million, and the company plans to boost that figure five times in the next four to five years.
Stefanel said he envisioned a variety of synergies between the two companies: Stefanel will be able to manufacture knitwear for Hallhuber, for example, and the two will be able to share or swap retail space.
Asked whether he envisions selling the CK Calvin Klein brand in Hallhuber stores, Stefanel said, “We are evaluating all possibilities right now.”
Stefanel produces the CK collection for Europe and the Middle East under license and through a joint venture company formed with Calvin Klein in 1996.
Stefanel’s consolidated sales are approximately $250 million; Hallhuber’s are approximately $45 million.
All dollar figures are translated at current exchange.

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