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Brioni Family Buys Back Control of Brand

Godfrey Deeny
June 20th, 2007 @ 00:55 AM - Florence

At a moment when hedge funds and private equity firms are again snapping up fashion and luxury labels, the Brioni family has bought back full control of the house bearing their ancestor’s name.

The move would appear to place Brioni, long an acquisition target for those same funds, outside the reach of a potential predator.

The heart of the deal is that Umberto Angeloni and Gabriella De Simone agreed to sell their 17 percent stake in Brioni Roman Style S.p.A "to other family members." Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Angeloni quit as Brioni chief executive officer last summer after a heated difference of opinion on strategy.

In keeping with tradition at this traditional firm, the press release did not actually state which members of the family had participated in the buy-back of Brioni, a maker of power suits known for dressing Daniel Craig in the latest James Bond.

However, a spokesperson for the firm said some nine family member participated in the acquisition, including Andrea Perrone, a Brioni board member, its director of franchising and a grandson of Brioni cofounder Gaetano Savini. Also taking part in the buy-back was Antonella De Simone, sister of Gabriella.

Brioni stressed that the new shareholding structure resulting from the transaction was still being finalized.

"The share purchase is in line with our growth strategy as an independent luxury brand," Perrone said in a release.

Closely held Brioni does not release sales figures, though Perrone has previously said his goal was to breach 200 million Euros in sales by the end of this year.

"We are confident in our future," added Antonella De Simone, who oversees marketing and communication at the company, based in Penne, in Italy.

The company said it was planning to make further future investments in order to continue its international expansion program, which in the past 12 months has already seen growth of Brioni’s presence in the United States with an in-shop presence at Saks Fifth Avenue (New York), a larger selling space at Bergdorf Goodman (New York) and a new boutique in Bal Harbour.

Outside the US, Brioni has also notched openings in Russia, Dubai, India, and Azerbaijan. And in the pipeline over the coming months Brioni will open new stores in Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Hong Kong.

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