The Latest Investments: Acquascutum, Ducati & Vertu


Sophie Doran | May 15, 2012

Audi takes control of Ducati for a cool $1.1 billion, Coty bids farewell to Avon and an insolvent Aquascutum is bought by China's YGM for just £15 million

Audi takes control of Ducati for a cool $1.1 billion, Coty bids farewell to Avon and an insolvent Aquascutum is bought by China’s YGM for just £15 million

Sold: Ducati, Audi

Audi has acquired Ducati Motor Holdings for a sum of $ 1.1 billion, close to seven times the revenue of Ducati in 2011. The famed Italian motorcycle brand will become the 12th company in the Volkswagen Group’s portfolio, which now includes everything from supercars to full-size trucks.

Source: Motor Authority

Withdrawn: Coty, Avon

Fragrance firm Coty has withdrawn its $10.7 billion bid for Avon Products, saying the US beauty firm had taken too long to respond to its offer. Chairman Bart Becht, in a letter to Avon made public, explained:

“Your total lack of engagement with us leads us to believe that you remain reluctant to explore a friendly, negotiated combination on a reasonable timetable. Consequently, as our deadline to begin discussions expired today, our proposal is withdrawn.”

Source: BBC News

Bought: Fashion Networks International, Fairchild Fashion Media

Fairchild Fashion Media – the parent of Women’s Wear Daily and – has purchased Fashion Networks International from cofounders Christian Remröd and Elin Kling for an undisclosed amount. FNI is perhaps best known for NowManifest, the online home of bloggers Anna Dello Russo, Bryanboy, Elin Kling, Derek Blasberg & Rumy Neely.

Remröd will stay on, becoming managing director of NowManifest and Fairchild Fashion Media Business Development.

Source: WWD

Sold: Aquascutum, YGM

Aquascutum collapsed into administration in mid-April, putting about 250 jobs at risk and threatening the possible demise of a classic British clothing brand. Just weeks later, China’s YGM Trading has stepped in and agreed to acquire the British brand for £15 million.

YGM distributes men’s and ladies’ wear under brands including Michel René, Guy Laroche, Charles Jourdan, Ashworth, and J.Lindeberg, and has owned Aquascutum royalty rights for the Asian market since 2009.

Source: Reuters

Bought: Les Tanneries Roux, LVMH

Artisan leather producer – and supplier to Celine, Louis Vuitton, Moynat, Christian Dior and Loewe – Les Tanneries Roux has been acquired by LVMH, in a bid to further protect its supply of high-end leather goods products. Jean-Claude Ricomard will remain Chairman of the company and will ensure that the company’s successful growth strategy over many years will continue.

Source: MarketWatch

Negotiation: Permira, Vertu

Nokia is said to be in advanced talks to sell luxury mobile phone brand Vertu to Permira, the private equity owner of Hugo Boss and Valentino. The deal is expected to raise €200m for Nokia, as part of the company’s efforts to dispose of non-core assets and boost cost savings in its devices division.

Source: Financial Times

Launched: Brunello Cucinelli, IPO

Italian cashmere specialist Brunello Cucinelli raised 158 million euros ($208 million) from international investors and well-known fashion names such as Benetton and Ermenegildo Zegna. The company’s offering of approximately one third of its shares was more than 17 times oversubscribed, leading it to close the books earlier than planned.

Source: Reuters

Acquisition: Damas, EFG Hermes & Mannai Corp

Qatar’s Mannai Corp and Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes have taken control of Dubai based jeweller Damas, for a reported $445 million. Mannai, whose operations span the oil, gas, automotive, travel and logistics sectors, will become the majority owner of Damas with a 66% stake. EFG Hermes will control 19%, with the remaining 15% retained by the Abdullah brothers.

Source: CPP Luxury

Launch: Tumi Holdings, IPO

Luxury baggage maker Tumi Holdings Inc., owned by Doughty Hanson & Co., sold 18.8 million shares at $18 each, according to a statement released following the launch of its IPO. The stock rose as high as $27.85, giving New Jersey-based Tumi an enterprise value of $2.2 billion including debt – approximately 31 times 2011 EBITA.

Source: Fashion United

Acquired: Gieves & Hawkes, Trinity

Savile Row Gieves & Hawkes is set to be acquired by its Hong Kong licensee, Trinity Ltd – part of Li & Fung – from Wing Tai Properties for an initial £32.5m. Trinity will also continue to make annual payments as part of an earn out agreement, totalling up to £60m over 18 years.

Source: Financial Times

Stake: Tiffany & Co, Qatari Investment Authority

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund owns a 5.2% stake in Tiffany & Co, which it acquired last year but recently reported in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The QIA owns Harrods and has purchased stakes in companies including Volkswagen AG.

Source: Fox Business

Exit: Abu Dhabi, Daimler

Daimler AG’s largest investor – the oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi – is said to be preparing to sell its 9% stake in the German automotive group, following its acquisition of $2.6 billion in March 2009.

Source: Reuters

Stake: Bernard Arnault, Maxime Simoens

Bernard Arnault is said to have invested in young couturier Maxime Simoens, although neither the size of the investment nor the stake has been revealed, insiders have confirmed the acquisition.

“They do believe in him, and want to finance him,” a source told WWD, before suggesting that the luxury group wishes to forge ties with promising designers who could one day take on its bigger brands.

Source: WWD

Bought: Barney’s New York, Perry Capital

Barneys New York has been taken over by Perry Capital, in partnership with billionaire Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos, in a debt-for-equity swap that reduces the luxury retailer’s borrowings by $540 million. Perry takes over majority control from Istithmar World PJSC,and will reduce Barneys’s debt to $50 million from $590 million.

Source: SF Gate

Stake: L Capital, Fab India

L Capital Asia has purchased an 8% stake in Fab India, an Indian clothes and lifestyles products retailer, from Wolfensohn Capital Partners. The deal has been valued at Rs.150 crore (approximately $2.78 million), according to AZB & Partners, the law firm that advised L Capital in structuring the transaction.


For more in the series of The Latest Investments, please see our most recent editions as follows:

- The Latest Investments: Instagram, Ducati & Louis Vuitton
- The Latest Investments: Bruno Cucinelli, Sonia Rykiel & Net-a-Porter
- The Latest Investments, Lanvin, Luxottica & L Capital Asia