Asian investors set their sights on a historical brand of “made in Tuscany” fashion, and specifically of leather products, one of the region’s most characteristic production sectors. The Florentine Braccialini group, founded by the homonymous family in 1954 and currently reaping approximately 75 million in profits, is – according to Italian financial media reports – in advanced negotiations with a private equity fund from the Far East, which in upcoming months could find the agreement to enter into the company’s capital to support its expansion into, specifically, Asia. The Florentine group has first entered the continent in 2010, and currently counts 25 stores.
Beyond capital, Crescent Hyde Park – this is the name of the potential investor, could also endow its own know-how specific to the Chinese market, since it is there that the private equity has carried out many of the investments thus far complete. Based in Shanghai, Crescent Hyde Park collects its capitals mainly from Singapore, China and Malaysia, and has is already present in Italy: indeed, it acquired the Abruzzo-based Miss Sixty clothing company in spring 2012.
The Asian path, however, is not the Braccialini family’s, which currently controls 22% of the capital, road to financing development. Another route, probably alternative to that of recurring to private equity capitals, could be to be quoted on the stock market, in order to offer the Braccialini business history to a wider number of investors and to find the resources necessary for the implementation of the industrial growth plan.
The choice will be left to stockholders, but the only compulsory path is the one towards expansion abroad, source of 70% of the turnover and where the group can count on about 50 stores (China and Russia are two dominant markets). In the course of an interview released to Il Sole 24 Ore a few months ago, managing director Riccardo Braccialini had outlined the strengthening options, announcing a development in the United States, some new stores in China by this year as well as new openings in Saudi Arabia, Japan and Mexico. Braccialini works with both its own brands – asie the historic one, Francesco Basia is well known – as well as with licenses, such as the one with Vivienne Westwood.
In partnership with IlSole24Ore