LVMH-backed fund to buy majority stake in Italian luxe label Etro
Etro is looking to future-proof its business and on Sunday revealed a “strategic partnership” with L Catterton Europe that it said will be the “start of a new phase of growth”.
The luxury fashion company has entered into a binding agreement to partner with the biggest global consumer-focused private equity firm as L Catterton Europe takes a majority stake in the company, said to be around 60%. The Etro family retains a “significant” minority holding and founder Gerolamo Etro is becoming chairman of the business.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. Terms were not disclosed but reports said it values the business at around €500 million ($590 million).
Etro, which was founded in 1968 as a textile firm and is still known for its prints, now makes womenswear, menswear, accessories, beauty/fragrances, and home goods. It’s sold through around 140 high-end retail stores and is a regular in luxe department stores and on upscale e-tail sites.
The company said that “by leveraging L Catterton’s deep investment expertise, category knowledge, consumer insights, and strategic relationships with LVMH, Etro will be poised for significant growth to become one of the leading high-end brands across product categories”.
The private equity group will “support Etro in enhancing its brand strategy to grow its customer base and reach the younger generations of consumers by continuing to interpret its style in new, modern ways, while expanding into new categories and further enhancing its Italian roots”.
Importantly too, the link-up will see Etro expanding and deepening its digital operations and focusing on “the significant opportunity in Asia”.
“My family and I take great pride in having established Etro as a strong luxury brand that resonates with consumers around the globe,” said Gerolamo Etro. “L Catterton has a shared vision and a unique appreciation for our business, and the firm takes the same approach to partnership our family does. After nearly 55 years under our stewardship, we believe that together with L Catterton, Etro can enter its next chapter of growth and solidify its place as one of the great, lasting luxury houses.”
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