Gruppo Florence Adds Jersey Specialist to Its Portfolio

·2 min read

MILAN — Gruppo Florence is continuing its brisk M&A activity, adding the 13th fashion manufacturing company to its roster.

The group, established in October 2020 to develop a platform supplying high-quality, Made in Italy products to major luxury fashion brands, is now taking control of Barbetta, a Lecce, Italy-based business that specializes in jersey production.

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Founded in 1973 by Luciano Barbetta and his wife Ileana, the company operates as a network of 10 facilities relying on around 40 workshops, directly employing 180 people but involving around 800 workers. In 2021, it posted sales of 60 million euros.

As is customary for Gruppo Florence’s acquisitions, the founding family has agreed to maintain minority ownership of the company they run.

“I am pleased that the Barbetta family has joined the shareholders of Gruppo Florence and content to welcome on board a company from the Apulia region, known for its luxury artisanship,” said Francesco Trapani, Gruppo Florence president and chairman of VAM Investments.

Attila Kiss, the group’s chief executive officer, touted Barbetta’s ties with the territory and responsibility toward its workforce as among the jersey manufacturer’s winning assets.

“We’re happy to bring our employees within an innovative context, focused on improving services and preserving our heritage,” said Luciano Barbetta, the firm’s president and founder. “For our family, the company represents an asset of the territory and we, entrepreneurs, are tasked with safeguarding it with the goal of securing it a future and hand it over to next generations,” he added.

In the wake of the latest M&A activities, Gruppo Florence, which is controlled by private equity fund VAM Investments, Fondo Italiano d’Investimento and Italmobiliare, owns controlling shares of 13 companies, including Metaphor, which produces high-end knitwear; informal outerwear manufacturers Emmegi and Giuntini; jersey specialist Manifatture Cesari; Ciemmeci, a company specialized in the production of leather and fur pieces; scarves and shawls specialist Antica Valserchio, and knitwear firm Mely’s.

As reported, last month Gruppo Florence acquired majority stakes in Bergamo, Italy-based ready-to-wear manufacturer Cam; Confezioni Elledue, a specialist in casual outerwear based in Tuscany; Turin-based Frediani, which produces luxury outerwear; Parmamoda, which manufactures rtw, and Pigolotti, a family-run specialist in jerseys combined with precious textiles such as cashmere and silk.

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