Chinese conglomerate Fosun Fashion Group acquires control of shoemaker Sergio Rossi
FFG is a the most important Chinese investor in high-end European fashion and accessory brands. By buying Sergio Rossi, Fosun adds a top-of-the-line shoemaker to a stable of marques that includes Paris couture house Lanvin, hosiery specialist Wolford; top-quality Italian menswear manufacturer Caruso; American label St. John Knits International and German mid-range fashion brand Tom Tailor.
Shanghai-based FFG is a division of Fosun International, a consumer-focused conglomerate with nearly 30 years’ experience in investing in global brands, with a focus on developing these labels in the Chinese market.
“We are excited to have Sergio Rossi join FFG family, who we believe is one of the few leading shoe makers in the market. When we dived into the brand, we were captivated by its DNA which is deeply rooted in the creativity and expertise of its eponymous founder. The world of Sergio Rossi is a place where magic and reality come together to create hand-made shoes for sophisticated, smart and effortlessly chic women,” said Joann Cheng, chairman of Fosun Fashion Group in a release.
Fosun bought Sergio Rossi from Absolute Luxury Holding, a division of European investment house Investindustrial, which in turn had acquired the shoemaker from Kering in 2015. Terms of the acquisition were not revealed. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approval, though expected to close this summer.
Sergio Rossi was founded in 1951 by Sergio Rossi in the San Mauro Pascoli shoemaking district in Italy. Today, Sergio Rossi boasts a worldwide distribution network of 64 stores, of which 45 are directly owned.
“After five years of excellent partnership with Investindustrial and huge renewal of the company, myself with the top management participate with enthusiasm by investing with the new shareholder FFG, giving coherence and continuity to the project. We are excited about Sergio Rossi’s future growth prospects supported by new actions, the fast growing market in which our brand is appealing to and FFG as new partner to sustain us on this thrilling journey,” said Riccardo Sciutto, CEO of Sergio Rossi.
Under Sciutto’s management, Sergio Rossi had significantly rebuilt its archives into one of the finest in the entire footwear industry.
Fosun’s Cheng said she and her group “were also mesmerized by Sergio Rossi’s archive, meticulously renovated and digitally filed with over 13,000 documents, and where over 6,000 heritage shoes are stored as inspiration for future collections.”
Feng added: “Since its inception, the brand stands at the very tip of quality and craftsmanship, and these attributes are shared across our group’s portfolio. We want to thank Investindustrial and the Management team led by Riccardo Sciutto for their commitment and leadership over the past five years and we look forward to carrying the legacy of Sergio Rossi forward into this new chapter. As always, FFG remains fully committed to continuing the growth of this brand as one of the most iconic shoe brands in the market."
Deep-pocketed Fosun International Limited is listed on the mainboard of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with total assets of RMB767.7 billion, or US$117.7 billion, as of 31 December 2020.
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