Stefanel acquired by OVS group
Italian budget fashion retailer OVS has snapped up Stefanel. The operation was made official on Monday, following the green light by the Italian Economic Development Ministry.
Stefanel was founded in the northern Italian region of Veneto in 1959. It went into receivership due to insolvency in September 2019, and was put up for sale in June 2020. The women's ready-to-wear label, a knitwear specialist which has been languishing in latent crisis for 10 years, has finally found its buyer in the form of the OVS group, owner of the budget fashion retailer with the same name, as well as of department store Upim and homeware retailer Croff.
Last December, OVS, led by Stefano Beraldo, revealed it had put forward a €3.2 million bid for Stefanel. According to the bid, OVS plans to keep 94 of the 136 employees working in Stefanel’s stores and at its head office in Ponte di Piave, mostly in product development. The Ponte di Piave staff will be offered the option of moving to OVS’s own headquarters in Mestre, close to Venice, some 30 km away from Stefanel's head office.
In addition to Stefanel's trademark, OVS has acquired also its collection archives and 23 of the 27 stores operated by the womenswear label across Italy. OVS intends to relaunch and add to Stefanel's retail network, with new openings in locations already part of the group's property portfolio. The group is also committed to “strategically boosting [Stefanel’s] presence on digital channels in Italy and abroad, especially where the brand’s reputation is still very strong.”
OVS, whose majority shareholder is Italian investment fund Tamburi Investment Partners, intends to exploit industrial synergies between the two business, as indicated in a press release: “Thanks to our industrial platform and our supply chain organisation, we will have the means to offer extremely high value for money, at a level virtually unmatched on the market.”
OVS also revealed part of its relaunch strategy for Stefanel - whose 2019 revenue is estimated at approximately €30 million - stating that “in the last few weeks, our group has been busy defining the structure of [Stefanel’s] product range and the style that will characterise it: simple, contemporary and distinctive for its high-quality materials and a reliance on knitwear.”
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