On June 21, 2016, Investcorp, a Bahrain-based manager of alternative investment products, announced an agreement with the Corneliani family to acquire a majority stake in their luxury Italian menswear company for an enterprise value of approximately $100 million. The Mantua-based company recorded revenues of €120 million ($147 million) in 2015. Chairman and CEO Carlalberto Corneliani, 84, will cash out alongside his two sons, while his nephews Cristiano and Corrado will retain a minority stake.
The history of Corneliani dates back to the 1930s when Alfredo Corneliani set up a shop making raincoats and jackets. Due to the start of World War II, the business was put on hold. In 1958, Alfredo’s sons Claudio and Carlalberto set up Corneliani SpA. It is now one of the oldest independent luxury brands in Italy.
Corneliani develops most of its own fabrics from the initial selection of fibers, design and color, to the final approval of ideas from among hundreds of samples. Corneliani held the Polo Ralph Lauren license for North America for a number of years beginning in 1998.
Corneliani employs about 1,100 people. Corneliani products are sold in 68 countries through 10 company-operated stores, more than 75 franchise stores, 50 store-in-stores, and some 850 wholesale stores. Investcorp aims to raise Corneliani’s sales to more than $200 million over the next five to six years.
Founded in 1982, Investcorp gained its reputation through investments in the luxury industry. In 1984, it acquired the famous American jewelry and specialty retailer Tiffany & Co. and took the company public in 1987. Other investments included Gucci (1989–1996) and Saks Fifth Avenue (1990–1996).
Sources: Investcorp, Reuters, Wikipedia, Encyclopedia of Fashion
Photo credit: Equitium