US private equity firm Tengram Capital Partners announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Zanella Confezioni spa brand and business, a leading luxury menswear Italian brand, best known for its offering of handcrafted, sartorial trousers (download here the press release). MF-Milano Finanza wrote that Tengram offered 15.5 million euros for the company that was under a bankruptcy procedure.
Zanella predominantly sells its classic dress pants through prestigious specialty stores and high-end department stores across the US, Canada and Europe, including key retail customers such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Mitchell’s. The company will continue to utilize its existing facility in Vicenza (in the Veneto region, Northern Italy)
Tengram is a Connecticut-based private equity firm that focuses exclusively on middle-market consumer and retail companies that own exceptional, highly recognizable brands. Zanella is the second Italian luxury menswear brand to enter in Tengram’s portfolio after Luciano Barbera. The latter was acquired last October and Todd Barrato, the new Luciano Barnera’s ceo (former Brioni North America’s ceo) will be appointed ceo to Zanella too.
Brian Thorne, vice president at Tengram, stated: “We are excited to work closely with the Zanella team to help revitalize this well-known luxury brand. Having evaluated a number of Italian opportunities since our investment in Luciano Barbera, we found Zanella to be one of the few brands with the ability to quickly scale in the U.S. market. We expect this growth to be driven primarily by rejuvenation of the Company’s core dress pant business, as well as expansion into select complimentary classifications such as casual pants”.
Born in the ’60s in Caldogno (Vicenza), Zanella Confezioni has been living hard times since 2007 when the company signed a first debt restructuring agreement with lending banks (without goign to the Court). Zanella tried a second debt restructuring agreement in 2010 (this time going to the Court) but without success so the company was admitted to a first bankrupcty proceeding looking for an arrangement with creditors. That try wasn’t succesful either so here is a second try: the company was admitted to a second bankrucpty proceeding last August and this time Tengram Capital will put on the table enough money to reimburse the banks.
Zanella Confezioni has today a banking debt (with Intesa Sanpaolo, Banca Popolare di Milano, Banca Popolare Vicenza, CR Padova e Rovigo and Unicredit) of about 9 million euros. This is what remains of a 16.6 million euros debt originated in December 2003 when the company bought its US subsidiary from Armando Di Natale, who was Zanella confezioni spa’ unique shareholder. That debt was due by 2010, but the company paid just the first two instalments.