Liu Jo founder Marco Marchi acquires Blufin
The union between two iconic names in Italian fashion is sealed. After months of rumors, the designer and boss of the Liu Jo label, Marco Marchi, has confirmed the acquisition of Blufin, another symbolic player of transalpine fashion, which owns Blumarine and Be Blumarine, founded in Carpi, in Emilia-Romagna, by the couple Anna Molinari and Gianpaolo Tarabini.
Asked by FashionNetwork.com last week, Marco Marchi revealed the mission of its holding company Eccellenze Italiane, an entity aiming to regroup the Italian "excellences", the entrepreneur declaring himself "tired of seeing the Italian treasures pass to foreign hands."
The acquisition is now official, as confirmed by Marco Marchi this week: "It's a dream, my vision of entrepreneurship is materializing: bringing together high-end brands that have in common a strong character and a potential for growth with the aim of making them compete more effectively on the international scene. In Italy, there is an extraordinary heritage of companies with a strong identity that claim quality and creativity as their founding elements. Unfortunately, often they can not grow because of a lack of critical mass, capital, technology, management and synergies - tools that only a large group can guarantee.”
The negotiations, which took place privately between the Tarabini family and Marco Marchi and without an intermediary banking institution, quickly concluded with an agreement to sell 100% of Blufin's shares to Eccellenze Italiane.
"My mother (Anna Molinari), our family and I see this step as extremely positive for the development and growth of the company and its brands," said Gianguido Tarabini, in an official release.
“We strongly believe in the entrepreneurial skills of Marco Marchi, in its connection with the territory and we hope that this operation will represent an entrepreneurial success story in Carpi and Italian fashion."
Next season, an in-house creative team will sign Blumarine's collection. The creative direction is still being defined. Blumarine is expected to return to Milan for September 2020 Fashion Week.
"An important reorganization awaits us, and relaunch, which should give a new breath of fresh air to this extraordinary Italian house," said Marco Marchi. "In five years, we hope to achieve a turnover of 50 million euros with a two-digit Ebitda, the development must be done gradually and sustainably to protect this jewel made in Italy."
In recent days, the head of Liu Jo's has also taken the capital of another historical name in the country - the Italian chain of stores known as Coin, thanks to a round of funding that led him to take 15% of the shares.
Liu Jo was founded by brothers, Marco and Vannis Marchi, in 1995 and reached international stature after its advertising campaign with Kate Moss in 2011. In 2018, the brand recorded a turnover of 372 million euros, with growth of 10% compared to 2017. To this figure is added 65 million euros of sales, obtained by the menswear line managed by the company, Co.Ca.Ma.
The Blufin group, which owns Blumarine, Anna Molinari and Be Blumarine brands, is now present in 50 countries and its collections are distributed in more than 500 points-of-sale, including 31 monobrand shops and shop-in-shops worldwide.
Consolidated sales for 2018 (including royalties from licenses) amounted to 33 million euros, 40% of which was generated by the Italian market and 60% internationally.
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