Gucci owner, Kering SA, agreed to sell shoemaker Sergio Rossi to an Italian firm after struggling to turn around the business. The buyer, Investindustrial, will get all of Rossi’s industrial assets, rights and a network of more than 80 stores, according to a joint statement Wednesday. The deal will ensure the long-term development of the brand, the companies said.
Kering, whose Gucci Group bought Rossi in 1999, decided to dispose of Rossi after a strategic review, Chief Executive Officer Francois-Henri Pinault told Bloomberg in February. The French company separated the Italian brand from its half-year accounts in July and attributed the 10.7 million-euro ($11.7 million) net loss from discontinued operations in the period mainly to the shoemaker. Rossi CEO Christophe Melard left the brand a year ago after a run of disappointing results. The disposal is “good news,” said Luca Solca, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas in London. “Sergio Rossi has been the exception to the rule in Kering’s most positive track record of adding value to small luxury-goods acquisitions.”
Sergio Rossi learned the shoemaking trade from his father and began selling women’s shoes bearing his own name in 1968, according to the company’s website. The brand gained prominence in the 1970s due to a partnership with Gianni Versace to supply footwear for the designer’s runway shows.
Investindustrial also has stakes in Aston Martin, Flos and B&B Italia, that are growing internationally, according to senior partner Andrea Bonomi. This is “the same growth path that we are looking to achieve for Sergio Rossi,” Bonomi said in the statement.
According to report's Kering's ownership stake in German sportswear company, Puma, may be next to go. according to reports this summer and then again early last month, Puma’s parent company Kering SA is open to selling its majority stake in Puma after struggling for eight years to turn around the German sporting-goods maker. Kering’s Chief Executive Officer, Francois-Henri Pinault, has reportedly tired of efforts to revamp the brand, as its sales have barely grown in recent years. Bloomberg reports: “Pinault has a history of exiting underperforming investments, having sold or spun-off about a dozen businesses in the past decade, including department store Printemps and retailer Fnac. Kering tested buyer appetite for Puma last year, contacting investors in the Middle East and Asia.”