Golden Goose Deluxe acquired by US investment fund Carlyle, plans store openings in China, USA
today Feb 8, 2017
The Golden Goose Deluxe Brand (GGDB) label is highly coveted for its explosive growth rate, and has recently changed hands again, for the third time in five years. The Italian casual chic brand founded in 2000 by designers Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo has in fact been acquired by US investment fund Carlyle, for an estimated €400 million.
The operation is expected to be finalised by the end of March, with the acquisition by Carlyle Europe Partners IV of a 100% stake in Golden Goose, whose shareholders since 2015 are Belgian investment fund Ergon Capital Partners II S.A. (65%), Zignago Holding SpA, a company belonging to a branch of the Marzotto family (17%), GGDB's founders (13%) and its management (5%).
This is by no means Carlyle's first foray in the fashion industry. The US investment fund had previously bought a stake in Moncler, which it has since sold, then acquired Dutch lingerie retailer Hunkemöller and Italian ready-to-wear label Twin-Set Simona Barbieri.
GGDB's roots are Venetian, but the apparel, accessories and footwear label is inspired by the style of Californian skateboarders. It was one of the first to feature distressed effects on leather jackets and shoes, and is particularly appreciated for its unconventional sneaker collections, recognisable for the star device, including the signature Superstar model, whose tenth anniversary was celebrated with a remarkable event last January at Pitti Uomo 91 in Florence.
"We have upgraded sneakers from the sporting to the luxury world. Footwear currently accounts for 75% of our sales and we would now like to boost the handbag category," said GGDB's General Manager Roberta Benaglia to FashionNetwork. She was among the first to spot the brand, of which she became a majority shareholder in 2013 through her DGPA investment fund, before selling to Ergon.
"Between 2013 and 2016 our revenue grew from €20 million to €100 million, 65% of which generated from exports, and in the same period our staff rose from 20 to 100 employees. We are targeting €130-140 million in 2017," said Benaglia.
Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is currently distributed via some 750 multibrand stores, plus eight monobrand stores (in Milan, Amsterdam, Paris, New York, Beirut, Tokyo, Seoul and London), as well as through retail corners in France, South Korea and Japan.
"The retail channel has been crucial in raising awareness for our brand, allowing us to grow from niche label to established market name, identified with a luxury positioning. We continue to invest heavily in the direct sales channel, and we are planning new store openings in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and the USA, with a second New York store on Madison Avenue, and two stores in Miami and Los Angeles," said Roberta Benaglia.
GGDB's main European markets after Italy are France and the UK. The label opened a flagship store in Paris in 2014, on quai Malaquais on the Rive Gauche.
According to our sources, the take-over by Carlyle is expected to be followed shortly by the appointment of a new general manager.
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