Ermenegildo Zegna buys majority stake in high-end Italian knitwear producer Dondi
On the eve of the Milano Unica textile show in Milan, which opens on July 9, Ermenegildo Zegna has announced a major new acquisition. The Italian textile producer and luxury menswear label has bought a 65% stake in the Dondi group, a renowned manufacturer of high-end, 100% made-in-Italy knitwear for men and women. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.
Dondi is based in Fossoli, on the outskirts of the Carpi textile hub in central Italy, near Modena, and is described as “a leader in knitwear manufactured exclusively in Italy,” with “a wholly internalised production cycle,” from fabric design to distribution. For over 40 years, Dondi has been a supplier to leading fashion labels and designers in the luxury segment, including the Zegna group. Dondi operates on the domestic and international markets, notably in the USA, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the UK, Turkey and in various emerging countries, as indicated on its website.
Originally called Dondi Jersey, then renamed Gruppo Dondi in the 1980s, the company was founded in the 1970s by Edda and Lauro Dondi, two textile entrepreneurs with a passion for knitwear. The company is now run by their children Lorella, with her spouse Guido Capelli, and Stefano Dondi. In Ermenegildo Zegna, they see “the ideal partner for the natural continuation of our entrepreneurial story,” as they stated in a press release.
The agreement with Zegna provides for “the Dondi-Capelli family to maintain a 35% stake in, as well as creative and operational control” over the company.
For this operation, the Zegna group has adopted the same formula used with textile producer Bonotto, in which it bought a 60% share in 2016, leaving a minority stake and creative and operational control in the long-established company to its founding family. It is a way for Zegna of preserving Italian textile know-how and ensuring control of its supply chain.
“This investment aims at strengthening the increasingly tight control over our textile supply chain, which is strongly characterised by a diversified, rigorously made-in-Italy output,” said the CEO Ermenegildo Zegna. Over the years, the Zegna group also bought Tessitura di Novara and Lanerie Agnona.
In 2018, the Italian group generated a revenue of €1.159 billion and a net profit of €34 million (+4%), and also took control of luxury ready-to-wear label Thom Browne.
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