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Brooks Brothers buys stake in Ballantyne cashmere company
11
Oct '08
Ballantyne announced that the company has reached a partnership agreement with Massimiliano Zegna Baruffa and Brooks Brothers for the business development of its factory in Scotland. Ballantyne, with its 230-year history of continued activity, has an unmatched tradition in the production of Scottish cashmere knitwear, a unique know-how in hand-intarsia and hand-framed sweaters and also a proven track-record of top-quality production. Ballantyne will make available to its partners these unique skills with the clear aim to further enhance the market presence of the factory.

According to the agreement, Massimiliano Zegna Baruffa, acquired a stake of 55% in the mills. In turn, Ballantyne will maintain a participation of 20% in the factory and will continue to produce, under a long term supply agreement, its luxury “made-in-Scotland” cashmere knitwear. Brooks Brothers, has acquired a 25% stake and will consider the factory as its privileged cashmere knitwear supplier for all its retail network.

The company will operate under the name of J.J & H.B.1788 Cashmere Mills Limited and plans to make available its high-end production capabilities to other selected luxury brands that consider top quality and exclusivity as key values for their clients. J.J. & H.B was the original name of the company controlled by the two Ballantyne brothers John John and Henry when they took over the mill in 1886.

1788 is the year when the factory started production under Alexander Brodie. J.J. & H.B. 1788 Cashmere Mills is the oldest, continually operating , textile mill in Scotland and owns two mythical brands of Scottish knitwear and lifestyle: Mc George (est. 1881) and Braemar (est. 1886).

The three partners will cooperate with each one pursuing precise objectives. Massimiliano Zegna Baruffa, who has been appointed by the partners as Chairman and CEO, will manage the operations in order to guarantee the un-matched quality of the production and expand factory production capability and customer base.

Ballantyne will continue contributing its unique Scottish heritage and its know-how and innovation in cashmere knitwear; Brooks Brothers, America's oldest retailer, will complete the balance of the partnership with its 190-year tradition of fine quality, innovation and style.

“I am convinced that this partnership represents a great opportunity” commented Massimiliano Zegna Baruffa “I strongly believe in the long term value of traditional Scottish knitwear and I am honoured to be partner with two strong international brands such as Ballantyne and Brooks Brothers”.

“Brooks Brothers is an American icon,” added Claudio Del Vecchio, Chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers. “Our principle is to deal only in merchandise of the finest quality and for our cashmere knitwear, which is an ever more fundamental item for our customers, we found in the partnership with Ballantyne and Massimiliano Zegna Baruffa the ideal long term relationship.”

“The partnership with Massimiliano Zegna Baruffa and Brooks Brothers represents an important step for our company” concluded Alfredo Canessa, Chairman of Ballantyne. “We share with Mr. Zegna and Brooks Brothers the same values of top quality and in-depth product research and I am convinced that the balance of competencies contributed by the three partners will add further value to Ballantyne knitwear collections, preserving our unique Scottish heritage”.

J.J & H.B.1788 Cashmere Mills Limited

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