L Capital Asia buys into luxury Italian retailer

The firm has joined its European counterpart to take a 30% interest in designer brand owner Vicini.

L Capital and L Capital Asia have together invested an undisclosed amount in Italian retail group Vicini, taking a 30 percent stake in the business, according to a statement.

The investment has been specifically earmarked for the growth and development of Vicini’s designer brand Giuseppe Zanotti, meaning the capital injection has been structured so that it will not impact the net financial position of the luxury footwear business.

Vicini has 85 stores worldwide and had a record turnover of more than €115 million in the 12 months to October 2013, the statement said.

“During the last 20 years, our company has been constantly growing, always keeping major focus on strategic investments in production, in the creation of unmatched expertise in both creativity and hand craftsmanship, with everything strictly made in Italy. We invested in building a retail network, and a selected distribution worldwide,” chairman and chief designer of Vicini, Giuseppe Zanotti, said in a statement.

He added, “Strengthening our company with a global partner represents an additional investment. One which will allow the company to get better structured, reinforces our penetration into the international markets, and keep growing.”

L Capital Asia will provide the business with local contacts in Asia Pacific to help the brand grow in the region, Ravi Thakran, L Capital Asia managing partner, explained.

“I was really impressed by the creativity content and 100 percent Italian craftsmanship of the GZD products and I believe the company’s potential for further growth in the Asian markets is exceptional.”

L Capital Asia has been actively deploying capital from its second private equity vehicle, which closed on its $950 million hard cap in August last year, Private Equity International reported earlier.

Recent investments from the fund include a $24.7 million acquisition of Taiwan-based DR.WU Skincare in March, the buyout of Asia-based restaurant and lounge operator Ku De Ta and the $69 million investment in Australian sportswear firm 2XU.

L Capital Management and L Capital Asia currently have a total of €2.2 billion in assets under management and started to invest in private equity in 2001, according to the firm. The funds make up the private equity operation of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.