MILAN — Italian entrepreneurs are increasingly understanding the importance of preserving the country’s manufacturing pipeline, at risk in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, publicly listed Tamburi Investment Partners, or TIP SpA, revealed it has submitted a binding agreement to acquire 25 percent of Limonta SpA, a textile and coating specialist founded in 1893 and based in Lecco, Italy.
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The acquisition of a minority interest in the company will be carried out via a capital increase and the purchase of Limonta shares.
The deal, which is expected to close by the end of 2021, is valued at 89 million euros.
TIP is helmed by Giovanni Tamburi, founder, chairman and chief executive officer, and counts the Marzotto, Loro Piana, Ferragamo and Campari families among its investors. The firm has stakes in Moncler, Hugo Boss, Ferrari, Italian retailer OVS and Eataly, among others.
Limonta, which is expected to post sales of 160 million euros in 2021 and counts 850 employees, is famous for its jacquards and coated fabrics, having developed and mastered the resination, coagulation, coating and printing techniques. The investment firm cited Limonta’s sustainable achievements and ESG-oriented approach as pivotal for the company’s success.
“The deal is aimed at supporting the owners and management in growing the group — also via external avenues — so that Limonta can become an aggregator for the high-end textile sector in Italy, in the name of cooperation for an industry that is still highly fragmented,” TIP SpA said in a statement.
To this end, the investment company, which works with a shorter exit time frame compared to private equity firms, has agreed with the founding family for a mid-term listing of the Limonta company.
The acquisition comes at a particularly delicate time for Italian textile firms, which have increasingly joined forces by way of acquisitions and collaborative ventures meant to support the know-how and craftsmanship in light of declining sales, shortages of financial resources and more difficult access to credit lines, as reported.
For example, earlier this year the Ermenegildo Zegna Group bulked up its textile division with the acquisition of Tessitura Ubertino and — in an unexpected venture with the Prada Group — of cashmere mill Filati Biagioli Modesto, while the Albini Group inked a “strategic alliance” with Beste and Como-based silk specialist Canepa sold a majority interest to the Muzinich Group.
In 2020, industry veteran Francesco Trapani established Gruppo Florence with the goal of developing a platform to supply high-quality Made in Italy products to major luxury fashion brands, by acquiring small and medium-sized family-owned Italian companies. It currently counts seven businesses in its portfolio, after the recent acquisition of knitwear manufacturer Metaphor.