Italian fashion group Etro said on Monday it was assessing possible partnerships to drive future growth after reports of interest from buyout firm L Catterton.
A source close to the matter earlier on Monday told Reuters the Milan-based luxury brand was considering an expression of interest from L Catterton, an investment firm born out of a partnership among Catterton, LVMH and its owner Bernard Arnault.
The source said talks between the family-owned Milanese company, which is being assisted by Rothschild, and the private equity firm were at a preliminary stage.
Asked for a comment, Etro said the group “is focused on creating the conditions for future business growth” and “possible partnerships to help this process are also being explored.”
So far, no binding agreements have been reached, it added.
L Catterton declined to comment.
The pandemic has led to an unprecedented fall in sales for the fashion and luxury industry in 2020, prompting M&A deals.
In the last few months Italian fashion group OTB acquired German label Jil Sander, and down jacket maker Moncler agreed to buy smaller Italian high-end streetwear and fashion brand Stone Island.
The interest of L Catterton for the Milan-based group was first reported by Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore.
The group reported a core profit of 16 million euros in 2019 the newspaper said.
Etro, famous for its colourful paisley patterns, was founded by Gimmo Etro as a textile company in Milan in 1968 and remains a family-run business.
By Elisa Anzolin and Claudia Cristoferi; Editing by Jason Neely and Richard Chang