Trilantic Capital Partners has agreed to acquire a minority stake in Betty Blue, an Italian company that operates in the luxury premium fashion and accessories market.
Financial details of the transaction were undisclosed but it is understood the deal value was approximately €45 million.
Trilantic declined to comment.
Betty Blue has two brand names; Elisabetta Franchi and Betty Blue. Elisabetta Franchi founded the company in 1998 and has built one of the fastest growing premium womenswear brands in Italy, according to a Trilantic statement.
65 percent of Elisabetta Franchi sales are from the Italian market, while major international markets for the brand include Russia, the Middle East and Asia. In 2012, Bologna-based Betty Blue SpA, had revenues of approximately €105 million and an EBITDA of approximately €26 million.
Trilantic aims to growth the two brands further and support them with their international expansion plans. Trilantic Europe’s “local knowledge in Italy coupled with its international capabilities will enable it to work with Elisabetta Franchi to embark on the next phase of the company’s growth strategy”, the firm said in a statement.
Trilantic has made the investment using its €574 million Trilantic Capital Partners IV Europe, a 2007-vintage.
The investment is another example of Trilantic’s appetite for Southern Europe, where it has been reasonably active in recent years. In November last year it sold its stake in Istanbul Doors Group, a group of restaurants headquartered in Istanbul. A month prior, Trilantic teamed up with Investindustrial to acquire a 48 percent stake in Euskaltel, a telecommunications provider in the Basque region.
Southern Europe has “unique opportunities”, Vittorio Pignatti Morano, founder and European Chairman of Trilantic, told PEI in a recent interview. “There are some companies that are based in Italy and Spain but only 20 percent of their revenues are derived from their home market; these companies are generically affected by market sentiment in the country, but their business is not. These are the companies that need us most right now. And we feel that the opportunity flow is there to stay, because it will take years for the imbalance between supply and demand to be corrected.”
As well as investing its European fund, the firm is also currently in market raising its North American Trilantic Capital Partners V, which has a $2.25 billion target. As of September 2013, the fund has collected approximately $2 billion, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.