MILAN — Fin.part released its long-awaited plan to emerge from its crippling debt and, as speculated, it involves striking licensing deals for its brands, which include Cerruti and Frette.
“Fin.part is changing its ‘occupation,’ giving up its past role as an industrial and commercial player to transform itself into a ‘value manager’ equipped with a portfolio of brands of quality, notoriety and high-growth potential,” the company said in a statement accompanying a nine-page PowerPoint presentation of tables and flowcharts.
Fin.part said it wants to strike long-term licensing deals for each of its brands and sell off noncore assets, a plan it said will generate a constant profit flow from royalties and an average gross profit of about 33 million euros, or $39.13 million at current exchange rates, per year.
The strategic plan is the first glimpse of chairman and interim chief executive officer Gianni Mazzola’s vision for Fin.part. As reported, Mazzola and his Swiss banker Carlo Pagani bought up a large portion of Fin.part founder Gianluigi Facchini’s stake in the company late last year. Together, Mazzola and Pagani are Fin.part’s largest shareholders, currently holding 23.7 percent of the company. Last week, Facchini stepped down as ceo.
A Fin.part spokesman added the company is already in talks with potential licensees and announcements could come in a matter of weeks. He said Fin.part’s aim is to give licensees managerial control of the group’s manufacturing assets.
“The next step could be that the franchisee then offers to buy the factories,” he explained, adding Fin.part’s ultimate goal is to be a company that owns a bunch of brands but no production facilities. He also said various stores and showrooms could also be on the block.
Fin.part also released first-quarter numbers. The company posted a pretax loss of 11.5 million euros, or $13.64 million, for the three months ended March 31, which compares with a profit of 5.1 million euros, or $6.05 million, in the year-earlier period.
Fin.part noted first-quarter numbers were boosted by the sale of the Moncler brand. But the company said Tuesday it will buy back control of Moncler, spending 28 million euros, or $33.20 million, for 75 percent of the company.
Fin.part said sales for the quarter dropped on a comparable basis by 15.4 million euros, or $18.26 million, to 99 million euros, or $117.38 million. It noted sales fell in every division except for those of sportswear unit Pepper Industries, which saw sales rise 7.4 percent.
As of March 31, Fin.part’s net debt stood at 350.9 million euros, or $416.06 million, compared with 406.6 million euros, or $482.11 million, at the same time the year before. Fin.part also needs to come up with cash to pay back 200 million euros, or $237.14 million, worth of Cerruti bonds due this July.