Singapore’s Temasek buys into Moncler

The giant fund is following in Carlyle’s footsteps, taking a minority stake in the luxury coat maker.

Temasek, the S$242 billion (US$180 billion; €158 billion) Singaporean fund, has made what it describes as its “first significant investment in an Italian company” with the acquisition of a minority stake in fashion brand Moncler.

Temasek, which shies away from the label of sovereign wealth fund despite managing sovereign assets and being owned by the Singaporean Ministry of Finance, is a long time investor in private equity and venture capital funds.

Recently it has been ramping up its direct investment activity, partnering with other institutions to take minority stakes. Earlier this month it acquired a 5 percent stake in Tikehau Capital Partners, a French asset management business, which among other things is a shareholder and backer of UK private equity firm Duke Street. Temasek invested in this deal alongside Peugeot family office FFP and French insurer MACSF.

The investment in Moncler, which is known for its high end down jackets, sees Temasek partnering with Juan Carlos Torres, chairman of travel business Dufry, to buy a 24 percent stake of a newly-formed holding company that will own a 27 percent stake in Moncler, which is publicly listed. This holding company will be majority owned and controlled by Remo Ruffini, chairman and chief executive of Moncler, who will continue to “define and drive Moncler’s plans for future development”, Ruffini said in a statement.

Commenting on the Moncler deal, Temasek’s joint head of consumer Luigi Feola, said: “We welcome the opportunity to work alongside our partner Remo Ruffini and to support Moncler in the long term as it continues its global expansion.”

Ruffini is familiar with financial investors; he has been at the helm of Moncler since 2003 and seen a number of private equity investors come and go, including Carlyle, which bought a minority stake in 2008.

Beyond Temasek’s Singaporean base, the fund has offices in London and New York – both established within the last three years – and is currently establishing a presence in San Francisco to pursue tech-related investments.

“This investment represents Temasek’s largest commitment to an Italian company to date,” said Tan Chong Lee, Temasek’s head of Europe, in a statement. “Italy is home to leading consumer and industrial businesses that have considerable export and international growth potential.”