Roviera held the same role at Pal Zileri and exited the firm earlier this week, as reported. Before that post, he was in charge of the Europe, Middle East and Africa region at the Ermenegildo Zegna group.
“Paolo is joining Corneliani at a very exciting time as we embark on an ambitious global expansion strategy,” said Hazem Ben-Gacem, chairman of Corneliani and the head of Investcorp’s Private Equity activities in Europe. Ben-Gacem praised Roviera’s “deep knowledge of the industry and indisputable experience leading fashion brands.”
Roviera highlighted Corneliani’s positioning as a leading luxury men’s wear company “known for its unique tailoring and high quality products.” He said he was “honored to have the opportunity to build upon the company’s heritage and legacy” in order to further expand and grow it. “There is tremendous opportunity at Corneliani to explore innovation within the sector and accelerate the brand’s global presence across a variety of markets and I look forward to working alongside Corneliani’s management team, talented employees and international partners in driving this vision forward.”
Stefano Gaudioso will also join Corneliani as general merchandising manager. Gaudioso was previously leading global merchandising at Pal Zileri, and, before that, he held senior merchandising roles at Zegna.
Bahrain-based Investcorp took a majority stake in Corneliani in June, increasing its footprint in the luxury arena. The deal is preparatory to initial public offering and also overcomes succession plans.
Carlalberto Corneliani, who founded the company in 1958 with his late brother Claudio, was succeeded by Ben-Gacem as chairman.
The enterprise value of the deal was calculated at $100 million. Corneliani, based in the northern town of Mantua, reported sales of more than 110 million euros, or $122.1 million at average exchange rate, in 2015. “Our commitment is to at least double that figure in five to six years,” said Ben-Gacem upon the acquisition. He underscored there was no acquisition debt. The goal is to “become the undisputed world leaders in men’s wear.”
Several members of the Corneliani family are part of the business. The late Claudio Corneliani’s sons Corrado, who is in charge of direction, production and logistics, and Cristiano, commercial director, will stay on and remain shareholders. Corrado’s son Stefano, a former director of luxury and consumer goods at Intermonte Corporate Finance, will join the company, in charge of finance. Carlalberto Corneliani’s sons Maurizio, director of finance, legal affairs and strategic marketing, and Sergio, creative director, will exit the firm. But the designer had agreed to stay on until a ceo was appointed. Carlalberto Corneliani also held the title of ceo.
Investcorp, a leading provider and manager of alternative investment products, controls the Danish jewelry brand Georg Jensen and is a former owner of Gucci, Tiffany and Saks Fifth Avenue. It has typically exited its investments through public listings. The group comprises three business areas: corporate investment, real estate and global hedge funds. At the end of December last year, it had $10.7 billion in total assets under management.
Today Corneliani has about 1,100 employees and is present in 58 countries through 10 directly operated stores, around 850 multibrand venues, about 80 franchised banners and 50 shops-in-shops. Cristiano Corneliani said the company will focus on building the North American market and has ambitious plans for the Middle and Far East.
As reported earlier this week, Qatar-based Mayhoola Group took control of Pal Zileri through the acquisition of 100 percent of parent company Forall Confezioni SpA, representing the fund’s commitment to expand the brand in the long-term.
Mayhoola said it would announce the appointment of a new ceo in September.
The investment vehicle backed by a private investor group from Qatar first took a 65 percent stake in Forall in 2014. Arafa Holding held the remaining 35 percent of the firm.