Qatari investors for Valentino, Choo profits, Cash strapped Italy, Mobile marketing, Alaia invasion

Valentino Spring/Summer 2012 | Source: Frills by Cleo

Qatari royal family in talks for Valentino brand (FT)
“The Qatari royal family is in advanced talks with private equity firm Permira over the sale of Valentino, the Italian luxury brand, for between €550-€600m. The sale talks come five years after Permira purchased Valentino Fashion Group in a deal worth €2.6bn. It has since been forced to write down the value of its investment heavily.”

Jimmy Choo steps up its profit by 19 per cent (Independent)
“The demand for 5in-heeled Jimmy Choo shoes – as demonstrated recently by the Duchess of Cambridge, left – is showing no signs of waning, helping the luxury brand post a 19.2 per cent leap in profit.”

Cash-strapped Italians ignore summer sales (Reuters)
“Sales on the opening day of summer discounts in Italian stores slumped compared with last year, consumer group Codacons said, as shoppers struggle to cope with tax rises, recession, stagnant wages and unemployment.”

4 Rules for Luxury Brand Mobile Marketing (Mashable)
“Through video and other forms of brand content, luxury brands have become media companies and content marketers selling a vision of an exclusive lifestyle attainable only by a select few. This new media has not, however, been effectively translated for the mobile audience.”

Azzedine Alaia invades Avenue Montaigne (FT)
“The Maison will be Alaia’s first outpost since Jacqueline Schnabel closed the New York boutique in 1992, and as such is a testament to the growth of the brand over the last few years.”

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  1. Too many debts, Valentino sells off to the Saudis.
    The Italian fashion, leader in the world forced to sell off to the usual Emirs.
    Great mediatic exposure, as well as big banking exposure. The Italian designer wizened by decades of hits around the world, under the weight of debt forced to sell his creation to avoid bankruptcy.
    The Sultan of Hamad bin Kahlifa al Thani, you buy the Valentino’s Maison, you can say, for a fistful of dollars. 700 million euros, euro plus euros less. Mayhoola for Investment is now the new owner of the number one of Italian fashion. Without doubt one of the most representative Made in Italy. Esser brutti è lecito però forse il califfo ne sta approfittando. This not is solidarity but charity.
    After losing Ferretti Yachts (to Chinese) another piece of fine Made in Italy who goes. Unfortunately it was not enough the strict Buy Back plan to restructure the heavy debt. Too many tax liabilities and the unsustainability of the debt have crippled the group of Valentino Garavani. Sums mind-boggling (but otherwise normal for times of crisis like these) those in the know speak of some 2 billion euros of debt with the Lending Banks. That however – as usual – r they risk little or nothing (with extensive ties to the group pledgees). Only the Senior and Secon Lien facility Agreement signed by VFG the 29 october 2007 touching the not modest sum of 1427 million. Dulcis in fundo is still in being a huge legal dispute with the Italian tax authorities for blatant breaches of tax laws (A disputed tax assessment issued by the Regional Directorate of Lombardy with reference to the tax years 2003-2004 for alleged “dummy company” of the subsidiary Marzotto GmbH). Between taxes, interest and penalties, a financial sanction for over 400 million euros (but curable with an outlay cash of ‘only’ 165 million euros). The financial administration has until December 31, 2014 to proceed with legal proceedings against the company. To be evaluated apart from the serious penal implications for the various operations realized without many unscrupulous.
    We must say that unfortunately the various desperates financial engineering operations, did not work as they should. See the “Standstill Agreement” and the “Restructured Senior Loan Agreement” which in theory should act as a lifesaver for the situation of violation of covenants. O conversion operations in the capital of the great credits of Citigroup – then purchased by a Luxembourg subsidiary – good to reduce the number of creditor banks and to remand the slow agony. Some sleight of hand, however, ultimately proved to be interesting. As the operation to 724 million euros of debt canceled with a cash payment of only EUR 275 million (in this mode are all capable of not declare bankruptcy). All operations described analytically in a “Tax and legal Structure Memorandum” (that for human compassion we avoid to submit to you). Ultimately he resort to the usual and inevitable sale of valuable assets such as sale of Hugo Boss AG to cover at least part of the mountain of debt with the banks most exposed, primarily Citigroup, Mediobanca, Unicredit and HVB (Bayerische Hypo und Vereinsbank). A chasm quantified by tax advisors in over a one and half billion euros, a scary hole that could well jeopardize the assets and company continuity. As they say in the Sanraffaele (Delmontetabor): a meltdown beautiful and good. Or a beautiful ruin, as you prefer.
    The same Prof. Lorenzo Pozza (Professor of Economics at Bocconi University in Milan and certified public a ccountant) who has examined and studied the accounts of holding company Valentino Fashion Group Spa you really put your hands in your hair. Fabrizio Carretti of Permira (The Fund has invested massively in the Valentino Group) Instead he sweated cold for the anxiety by bankruptcy. The vortex of bankruptcy, as a typhoon could sucked into a black hole all societies of the entire group: VFG Deutschland GmbH, VFG France Sas, VFG USA Inc, Valentino Fashion Group Espana SL, VFG International NV, Marzotto Indemnity, Marzotto Textiles NV, Marzotto Spa, R&B Luxco.
    Fortunately for countering the black hole is arrived the white knight. Almost out of time. Now Valentine is a son of Sheikh (reminiscent of both the mythical and late Rudolph).
    But mourning is a hard to swallow… “the death of Valentino is one of the greatest tragedies ever to hit the world. Possessed art and distinction” (Charlie Chaplin).

    misterbean from Pianezza, Piedmont, Italy