MILAN, Italy — Family-owned luxury brand Missoni has sold a minority stake to private equity firm FSI Mid-Market Growth Equity Fund. The fund will hold a 41.2 percent stake, while the Missoni family will continue to own the remainder of the business. FSI chief executive Maurizio Tamagnini said the investment was worth €70 million ($81.2 million).
Creative director Angela Missoni will remain president of the company, with her mother Rosita holding the title of honorary chairman. Michele Norsa, former chief executive of luxury-goods group Salvatore Ferragamo, who joined FSI last year, will join as vice president. Luca Missoni and Giacomo Missoni will also sit on the board.
As part of its growth plan, the Italian brand, known for its instantly recognisable zigzag prints and knitwear pieces, will focus on international expansion, consolidation of retail channels in key markets and building out product ranges.
"The three generations of the Missoni family, led by Rosita, are pleased to be entering into this agreement with FSI, a prestigious and patient Italian investor with an international network," said Angela Missoni in a statement. "It is especially auspicious that this partnership is forged on the year of our 65th anniversary, a time to celebrate our history.”
"The Missoni family has impressed us for their passion, creative energy and timeless loyalty to the brand,” said FSI’s Tamagnini. "The investment in Missoni is an extraordinary opportunity to support the growth of this unique Italian brand into a global leader.”
In 2016, Missoni reported total revenues of €61.62 million. Today, brand turnover is approximately €150 million, according to the company, which has over 300 employees.
Missoni was founded in 1953 by Rosita and Ottavio Missoni in Italy's Varese. Daughter Angela took over the creative helm in 1996. Two years later, sister line M Missoni launched as a license with what would be the first brand in the portfolio now known as the Valentino Fashion Group and owned by Qatari royal family-backed luxury group Mayhoola. (In 2017, M Missoni brought in $50 million a year, 12 percent of which Missoni kept, according to the Wall Street Journal). However, in April 2018 Missoni brought its sister line in-house after the licensing deal with Valentino Fashion Group expired. The brand umbrella also includes Missoni Home (homeware), Missoni Mare (beachwear) and a kidswear line.
In 2011, the house partnered with Target on a limited-edition, 400-piece collection spanning clothing and homeware, with many pieces under $40. At the time, Target said that buzz around the collaboration was “unprecedented,” while demand for the line was so high it caused Target’s website to crash.
Missoni’s is the latest in a flurry of merger and acquisition deals within the luxury space. On Thursday, Dries Van Noten, another one of the last independent luxury fashion houses, confirmed it had sold a majority stake to Spanish group Puig, while earlier this month, Richemont completed its divestment of struggling French bagmaker Lancel to Piquadro shortly after its purchase of online second-hand timepiece vendor Watchfinder the previous week.