Italian fashion: Tod’s wants to leave the stock market

EAnother Italian heart wants to leave the Milan stock exchange: shoe and fashion manufacturer Tod’s. At the same time, he allowed Anglo-Saxon private equity firm L Catterton, which is allied with French luxury group LVMH, to take in. According to the latest plan, L. Catterton is buying 36 percent of the capital at 43 euros per share. As a result, Tod’s shares jumped nearly 18 percent on the Milan Stock Exchange on Monday, around the level of the takeover bid. The timing of the exit from the exchange and whether it will happen at all will depend on the success of the proposal, the companies said. 90 percent of shareholders must agree.

Tod’s is a traditional manufacturer originating in the Marche region of Italy. The grandfather of the current majority owner, Diego Della Valle, started out as a shoemaker; his father then expanded the business by selling women’s shoes in Germany and the United States. Diego Della Valle later abandoned the study of law in order to further establish the family business on the world stage, including through marketing interactions with movie stars and other celebrities.

Now is the right time to say goodbye to the stock market, said 70-year-old company executive Della Valle. Outside of the stock market, he has more business flexibility. Control of Tod’s must remain in the family, stressed the company’s director, who has two children, but they do not play a major role in the company. He said in an interview last year that they would become more important in the future. At the same time, Della Valle calls LVMH majority owner Bernard Arnault a friend; he also sits on his LVMH board of directors. Arnault Holding Delphine now owns about 10 percent of Tod’s shares and wants to retain those shares. However, with the arrival of the L Catteron fund, which has been linked to LVMH since 2016, the Della Valle family’s stake will fall from 65 percent to around 54 percent if the deal is completed successfully. It is said that if the proposal does not find enough support, Tod’s and L Catterton will merge.

The Italian manufacturer had already launched a similar campaign in 2022, but then canceled it because not enough shareholders supported it. Citi analysts remain relatively skeptical, with the latest offering priced just 7.5 percent higher than the failed 2022 offering. The turnaround in business efficiency that Tod’s has recently made is not fully reflected in the new takeover bid, they said. Tod’s brand portfolio also includes brands such as Hogan, Fay and Roger Vivier. Last year the company’s sales amounted to 1.1 billion euros.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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