Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group announced that it has agreed to acquire a 48% stake in Moncler S.p.A., the holding entity of Moncler Group, a manufacturer of high-end sportswear products under the brands Moncler, Henry Cotton, Marina Yachting and Coast, Weber & Ahaus (CWA) and licensee of the second-line brand Cerruti.
Before the transaction, Moncler S.p.A. was owned by Mittel Private Equity (35%), by Progressio Sgr (22%), by ISA S.p.A. (4%), by Remo Ruffini (38%) and by the management (1%).
Subject to regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2008, after which Remo Ruffini will continue to head the company and to own a 38% stake of Moncler S.p.A; Mittel Private Equity, Progressio and ISA will own a total stake of 13.5% and the management will own a 0.5% stake.
Remo Ruffini took over the majority of Moncler in 2003, while Mittel Private Equity, Progressio and ISA entered the company two years later.
During the last five years, thanks to the support of its shareholders and a new creative, commercial and communication strategy, the company re-launched all of its brands, leading to a considerable increase in sales, both in Italy and abroad.
During the last three years, Moncler's turnover increased by an annual rate of 17%, from 183 million Euros in 2005 to 290 million Euros expected at the end of 2008, with foreign sales accounting for about 40% of total turnover (about 30% in 2005).
Moncler distributes its products in high end shops and department stores in Italy and globally, and through six of its own brand boutiques in Crans sur Sierre and St. Moritz (Switzerland), Paris and Megève (France) and Courmayeur and Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy. In addition to this, Moncler branded boutiques are opening in Milan, Gstaad (Switzerland) and Aspen (USA).
“Moncler is a historic sport luxury garment brand that has returned to play a relevant and prestigious role in the market,” said Marco De Benedetti, Managing Director of The Carlyle Group.
“Moncler succeeded in its development thanks to the unique talent and extraordinary job of Remo Ruffini, of all the management team and to Mittel's support in the last years.
Starting from, as shareholders of the company, we will support Moncler with strategic vision and the means necessary to maximize the important global development opportunities for Moncler and the other brands of the Group.”
“I am grateful to my shareholders for their support received through these years of hard work in re-launching Moncler. I am now very enthusiastic to have Carlyle as a shareholder to face the new challenges of growth together,” said Remo Ruffini, Chairman of Moncler.
“Carlyle entering the company marks the beginning of a new era: the growth of Moncler as a global brand,” added Guido De Vivo, Chief Executive Officer and shareholder of Mittel Private Equity.
“For Progressio this transaction represents the first exit after only 3 years of activity, and at the same time allows the fund to continue and take part as shareholder in the international development process of Moncler,” added Pietro di Nola, Chief Executive Officer of Progressio Sgr.
The investment in Moncler was made through Carlyle's third pan-European buyout fund, Carlyle Europe Partners III, a 5.35 billion Euros fund, which closed in 2007.
The Carlyle Group was advised by Studio Legale Pedersoli e Associati as legal adviser. Shareholders Mittel and Remo Ruffini were advised by Studio Legale Agnoli, Bernardi e Associati.