MILAN — Storied French men’s brand Zilli has been acquired by two investment funds committed to leading the 50-year-plus company into the future.
Dubai-based investment fund Negma Group, founded by Elaf Gassman, and Futuro all’Impresa, or FAI, a Milan-based company specialized in financial consulting and investments, have taken over the company established in 1965 by Alain Schimel, credited with having pioneered and introduced luxury leather jackets.
The brand’s offering encompasses a wide range of product categories, from apparel to leather goods and footwear to eyewear and fragrances, as well as a selection of homeware items.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Zilli is a high-value company with considerable human capital. It is a strategic, long-term acquisition for Negma and we are happy to provide our human and capital resources, which are essential to develop the Zilli brand and bring it center stage,” said Anthony de Rauville, chief investment officer of Negma Group.
Through the acquisition, the funds expect to guarantee that the Lyon, France-based men’s brand can expand its reach and tap into lucrative regions such as the Middle East, Europe and Asia with key investments in the marketing and communication departments, aimed at modernizing the brand image, very much connected to the label’s craftsmanship credentials.
In 2010, Zilli scooped up the Living Heritage Company label, a mark of recognition issued in France.
“We are very proud to be given the responsibility for the Zilli house. We will be bringing in a very professional team, which will work hand-in-hand with the teams in place to create the platform that is needed for sustainable growth and the creation of value over the long term,” commented Guglielmo Ruggeri, general manager at FAI.
As part of the deal, the funds are committed to keep the company’s workforce employed. Zilli counts 70 employees, 54 of which are based in the production site in Dardilly, in the outskirts of Lyon.