Oakley Capital has bought a 40% stake of the capital of Alessi group, the Italian iconic brand of high-end design business focussed on homeware products, which has been in difficulty for a long time (see the press release here). The British fund has put a check for 6 million pounds on the table.
The Alessi family, represented by Alberto, Alessio, Michele and Stefano Alessi (shareholders of the family company which today controls 100% of the Piedmontese group), will thus fall to 60% of the Omegna company (Verbano-Cusio-Ossola ) capital. Alessi in the deal is supported by the Ubi Investment Banking advisor.
Founded in 1921, the group that in 2013 had recorded a peak in revenues of just under 110 million euros with an ebitda of 13.6 million, in the following years suffered a sharp decline in turnover and profitability, up to close 2017 with 62.5 million euros in revenues, an ebitda of just 130k euros and a net financial debt of 11.2 millions (source Leanus, find out here about our special offer until September 26).
Thus Alessi, which had a consolidated presence in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan, last year had to close as many as 140 shops, keeping active only the six Alessi single-brand stores and focusing on e-commerce sales. At the beginning of this year the group then started a restructuring plan that also includes 85 redundancies on a total workforce of over 300 employees. Now Oakley’s entry into the capital should finally help Alessi get back on top.
“Two years ago, at the turn of Alessi’s centenary, the family started to look for a partner able to help us adapt to the new globalised world without losing our brand strength, spirit of research and design excellence. It was not easy, but with Oakley Capital we believe we have found just that partner. A new phase of Alessi’s development will start very soon”, chairman Alberto Alessi said.
“We are delighted to become an investor in such a globally renowned brand. Alessi’s unique approach to design and product innovation makes it a highly attractive investment opportunity for Oakley. We are excited to partner with the Alessi family to support the business in the next phase of its development”, Peter Dubens, managing partner by Oakley Capital added.
Alessi is the tenth and last investment in Oakley’s third fund. Oakley Capital actually announced last July the closing of the fundraising of its Oakley Capital IV fund at 1.46 billion euros (see here a previous article by BeBeez). In May 2018 Oakley sold control of the Italian price comparison web portal Facile.it at the Swedish EQT fund, reinvesting for a minority (see here a previous article by BeBeez). In Oakley’s portfolio there is also Casa.it, the leading portal in the real estate sector in Italy, passed under the control of Oakley together with its analogues in France, Germany and Luxembourg, under the atHome brand, in December 2016, when the fund had bought the portals from the Australian Sidney-listed group Rea Group (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
Previously, in 2014 Oakley Capital, together with Dutch entrepreneur Eric Blijsma, had purchased the Italian company Tomasoni Topsail, the exclusive licensee for the production and distribution of North Sails branded clothing in Europe and Asia, from the founder Leopoldo Poppi (see here a previous article by BeBeez). The acquisition followed Oakley’s investment in the North technology group (owner of the North Sails brand) and allowed North Sails global operations to be consolidated under a single property.