OTB Buys Majority Stake in Footwear Company Calzaturificio Stephen

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OTB has acquired a majority stake in luxury men’s and women’s footwear manufacturer Calzaturificio Stephen.

The Italian specialist has been a supplier of the group for more than 20 years and the acquisition was made through Staff International, OTB’s production and logistics hub.

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The operation is part of the OTB Group’s long-term strategy and expansion policy aimed at building know-how and production capacity with leading Made in Italy companies operating in strategic merchandise categories.

OTB comprises Diesel, Jil Sander, Maison Margiela, Marni and Viktor & Rolf, as well as manufacturing companies Staff International and Brave Kid, and it holds a minority stake in the Amiri brand.

Through the deal, the group will ensure greater stability to Calzaturificio Stephen and is expected to contribute to faster and more solid growth for the Vicenza-based company which was established in 1967 by Francesco Bertollo.

OTB will join as a shareholder the family that founded the company, now represented by the second generation with siblings Stefano, Antonella and Valeria Bertollo, who will continue to run the business. Stefano Bertollo remains as chief executive officer of Calzaturificio Stephen, which has 70 employees.

Renzo Rosso, OTB, OTB Group, founder
OTB chairman and founder Renzo Rosso. Courtesy of OTB

The group will provide Calzaturificio Stephen with access to its resources aiming at supporting the company’s further development and evolution in terms of technology, innovation and sustainability.

OTB chairman and founder Renzo Rosso said the group’s “brands are known all over the world for the originality, creativity and craftsmanship of their products, thanks to the use of raw materials of the highest quality and the skills of our experts, masters of savoir-faire. Made in Italy became our trademark, thanks to a close collaboration with the companies in our incredible supply chain: a unique asset that makes us extremely competitive on international markets. This is why as a group we invest in local players who have built the reputation of Italian fashion around the world, to guarantee their continued growth and increasingly sustainable development.”

OTB has for more than a decade endorsed the C.A.S.H. (Credito Agevolato, or facilitated credit-Suppliers’ Help) project, which aims to provide concrete support and financial stability to the Italian fashion supply chain in terms of opportunities for growth, training, innovation, digital and technological transformation, offering guidelines for respecting the values of sustainability and transparency. It has also supported the pipeline through communication campaigns promoting Made in Italy such as M.A.D.E., Made in Italy and Made Perfectly.

The protection of Italy’s small and medium-size companies that form the backbone of the country’s production continues to be key and entrepreneurs have been forming new partnerships and ventures. Small and medium-size companies make up the majority of Italy’s 62,000 fashion firms, according to Confindustria Moda.

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