Private Equity Fund to Acquire Marcolin for $268 Million

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Longarone, Italy—PAI Partners, a leading European private equity fund, announced plans to buy 78.4% of Marcolin, the third largest sunglass maker, for 207 million euros (about $268.4 million) as well as plans to bid for the remaining shares of the company, too, PAI said today.

Marcolin, which produces glasses and sunglasses for such brands as Tom Ford, Roberto Cavalli and Just Cavalli, Diesel, Montblanc, Tod’s and Hogan, Balenciaga, Swarovski, Timberland, DSquared2 and Kenneth Cole, is managed through a pact under which the Marcolin family is the main shareholder alongside Diego Della Valle, owner of Tod’s.

Della Valle and his brother Andrea each own 20%, while the Marcolin family owns about 30%. The pact between the main shareholders was due to expire on December 14, 2013.

Under PAI’s plans, Cristallo SpA, the company indirectly controlled by PAI Partners, will launch a bid for the remaining shares of Marcolin for about 4.25 euros a share.

The Marcolin family, the Della Valle brothers and shareholder Antonio Abete will take a stake in Cristallo, giving them a combined 15% of Marcolin at the end of the transaction, the statement said.

While the deal still must undergo regulatory approval, it would take Marcolin private after the end of November.

PAI Partners has led some 42 buyout investments in nine European countries at a value of nearly 35 billion euros, including Gruppo Coin, a leading Italian fashion retailer.

‘Excellent Potential to Develop’: United States, Emerging Markets

According to Raffaele R. Vitale, a partner at PAI Partners, its investment in Marcolin is aimed at expanding the company’s international footprint and long-term contracts with major designer brands.

“We see excellent potential to develop the business, both in Europe, the United States and particularly in emerging markets, where demand for these products is rapidly increasing, said Vitale. “Our partnership with the Marcolin family and Diego and Andrea Della Valle and Antonio Abete in this investment is very important to support the growth of the business. The Marcolin family has always shown strong commitment to the company and we consider particularly important the current and future involvement of Maurizio Marcolin as head of licensing and relationship with the brands. We are, of course, very pleased to pursue the development of the company under the leadership of Giovanni Zoppas (chief executive and general manager) whom we know well and with whom we have successfully worked together in the past.”

Added Giovanni Marcolin Coffen, chairman of Marcolin: “PAI Partners has a proven track record of working with businesses such as Marcolin. I am confident that they will add significant value to the company, supporting our progression as we become increasingly international and continue to build on our strong position in this market.”

Marcolin, which ranks third in sales after Luxottica and Safilo, is poised for growth. Founded in 1961 and headquartered in Longarone, it has offices across Europe and in the United States, Hong Kong, Japan and Brazil. The company’s sales were up 9% to 224.1 million euros in 2011 with an EBITDA increase of 14% to 342 million last year.




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