Elisabetta Franchi to buy back 100% stake in brand
Elisabetta Franchi is to be once again the master of its own destiny. The glamorous, very high-end Italian womenswear label has recently announced that its parent company, Betty Blue SpA, is working to regain full ownership of its capital by buying back the stake held by the Trilantic investment fund, which in 2013 bought a 25% share in the company.
Four years later, the investment fund has decided to divest itself of the stake in the label, as the latter's revenue, contrary to the targets initially set, has remained relatively stable (€102 million in 2016). Elisabetta Franchi will have complete control of the business again, and wants to start a new expansion phase.
In the last few years, Elisabetta Franchi has adopted a new international strategy, and stated it is now ready to broaden the scope of its deployment. According to Italian daily paper Corriere della Sera, the womenswear label is working on a US offensive, looking to open a subsidiary and a flagship store in 2018. Besides reacquiring a 100% stake in the brand, Elisabetta Franchi is also keen to manage its retail operations without intermediaries, as it did this year in France, where it opened a first directly owned store, after being initially represented by a franchisee. The approach will however be different in Russia, China and the Middle East.
In 2016, the label opened several flagship stores in the main European capitals, and now Elisabetta Franchi operates approximately 70 stores worldwide, twenty of them in Italy.
For the years to come, a stock exchange listing remains very much on the cards for the label founded by the eponymous designer in 1998. Elisabetta Franchi still plans to float the company within "two or three years" and is preparing for this opportunity by reacquiring full control of the brand.
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