Qatar Group Buys Valentino
After the house of Valentino denied all those rumors that claimed that it has been sold for more than half a billion euros a few days ago, WWD just made it official: Valentino has been sold. The company denied that an offer had been accepted following reports in the weekend papers, but has now confirmed that the Qatari group Mayhoola for Investments S.P.C. - an investment company backed by a major private investor group from Qatar - has acquired the Valentino Fashion Group S.p.A. for an undisclosed amount of money from Permira, the company that bought Valentino for almost €2.6 billion five years ago and has returned the company to financial health, with earnings up 300 per cent over the last year.
Permira is retaining its interest in Hugo Boss, which has a free float of around 33%, and will use the proceeds from the sale of Valentino to pay down debt in the German retailer, according to a person close to the matter. Permira holds the majority stake in Hugo Boss with co-investors and founding shareholders the Marzotto family.
"Valentino has always been a brand of unique creativity and undisputed prestige," a spokesperson for new owner Mayhoola said. "We are impressed by the work of the two creative directors, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, and by the management team led by Stefano Sassi. Their ability to blend the aesthetic values of the founder, Valentino Garavani, with a contemporary and sophisticated vision, has been instrumental in enhancing the brand's relevance and establishing a platform with significant future potential. Our vision is to back management for the long term to exploit the full potential of this exciting brand. We believe Valentino is ideally suited to form the basis for a global luxury goods powerhouse."
"We are delighted with this development," Stefano Sassi, CEO of Valentino, said on the official statement. "During the past few years, despite swings in the luxury markets, the company has operated with great intensity and remained focused on maximizing the potential of the Valentino brand. This effort should drive a 60 per cent increase in revenues from 2009 to 2012. Our new shareholder will help us to reach our full potential. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Permira Funds and the Marzotto family for their industrial vision and the support that they have provided to management in implementing the first steps of our long term plan."
The acquisition includes the Valentino label as well as the M Missoni license business. Let’s see how the markets and the luxury industry behaves after such a big deal.