Italian fashion retailer OVS ready to buy Stefanel
A major player on the Italian fashion retail scene is set to come to Stefanel's rescue. In a press release, the OVS group, which owns the eponymous budget family fashion chain, as well as department store Upim and household accessories chain Croff, has confirmed its interest in the women’s ready-to-wear label and knitwear specialist, causing OVS’s share price to rise sharply on the Milan stock exchange on Wednesday morning.
Stefano Beraldo, the CEO of family fashion chain OVS - OVS
OVS, whose majority shareholder is the Tamburi Investment Partners fund, acknowledged the rumours reported by local media and indicated that “[OVS] has placed a firm and irrevocable offer to buy specific Stefanel assets, in particular the company’s long-established trademark.” OVS also underlined that, “given the value of the offer, the financial means to fulfil it lie largely within the bounds of the group’s current financial capabilities.”
OVS has recently approved a share capital increase worth €80 million and, as of October 31 2020, the group led by Stefano Beraldo had a positive net cash position of €356.9 million. In the first nine months of the year, OVS recorded a revenue of €736.7 million, equivalent to a 25.7% downturn, caused by its stores’ closure due to the lockdown in Italy, but its Q3 sales rose by 6.1% to €361 million.
Stefanel was founded in 1959 and has been struggling for nearly 10 years. It never managed to revive its ailing fortunes, while financial problems kept piling up. It went into receivership due to insolvency in September 2019, and was put up for sale in June 2020. The sale has been split in two distinct lots: one includes the Stefanel brand name, its site and direct retail network of over 30 stores; and the other includes Interfashion, the company that owns, produces and distributes internationally the label’s upmarket line, called High. It seems likely that OVS in most interested in the first lot.
The offers to buy Stefanel that have been put forward since the summer have all been refused, or haven’t come to fruition. According to Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore, a group of local entrepreneurs is also in the running to buy Stefanel.
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