Robert Martone

MILAN — IT Holding SpA has agreed to sell control of its fragrance division ITF SpA to partner Roberto Martone, so it can focus on its core business of clothing and accessories.<br><br>In the transaction, IT Holding sold 90 percent of holding...

MILAN — IT Holding SpA has agreed to sell control of its fragrance division ITF SpA to partner Roberto Martone, so it can focus on its core business of clothing and accessories.

This story first appeared in the January 23, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In the transaction, IT Holding sold 90 percent of holding company, Ibex SpA, which controls the ITF fragrance joint venture, to Martone’s company ICR Industrie Cosmetiche Riunite SpA. Martone said the transaction valued Ibex at $44.22 million (35 million euro), which would mean the purchase price was $39.8 million (31.5 million euros). Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange rates.

ITF, which will retain its name, will continue to produce and distribute perfumes with a 25-year licensing agreement for the IT Holding portfolio of brands, including Gianfranco Ferré, Romeo Gigli, Exte and Malo.

ITF’s total perfumery umbrella also includes Roberto Cavalli and Gai Mattiolo. ICR has production and logistic contracts with groups such as Bulgari Parfums, Ferragamo Parfums, Versace Profumi and Emanuel Ungaro Parfums.

“I’m sure that Roberto Martone’s company will maximize the potential value of our brands’ perfumes,” said Tonino Perna, IT Holding’s president and chief executive officer.

ITF’s activity began in 2002 when at year-end it posted a $17.43 million (13.8 million euro) turnover — mostly driven by Roberto Cavalli’s Woman fragrance launch, and was 2.1 percent of IT Holding’s total net revenues for the year.

Due to a slew of launches in 2003, namely Roberto Cavalli’s Man, Gianfranco Ferré’s Essence d’Eau, Romeo Gigli’s per donna, Salvatore Ferragamo’s “Incant” and Gai Mattiolo’s Man, ITF’s turnover hit $19.2 million (15.2 million euro) in the first nine months of 2003, up from $9.47 million (7.5 million euro) for the same period in 2002.

Martone said the company was preparing for eight new fragrance launches this year that will begin with a female and male duo for Just Cavalli in March.