MILAN – The Italian luxury outerwear company Herno makes its first acquisition, which allows it to enter a new market segment: active sportswear.
Herno President and CEO Claudio Marenzi has chosen to partner with Nuo SpA, backed by one of the main Italian investors, Exor, and The World-Wide Investment Company Ltd., of the Hong Kong family. Pao, to buy Montura.
Under the deal, Herno will control Montura with a 55% stake. The acquisition is expected to be finalized by January. The investment is valued at around 100 million euros, Marenzi said.
The decision to buy Montura stems from Marenzi’s personal passion and business opportunity, based on the entrepreneur’s belief that being on the outside is becoming more and more attractive, he said in an exclusive interview.
“I see huge potential for Montura, who will be able to leverage Herno’s distribution platform and operational and digital synergies,” said Marenzi, who will assume the role of CEO of Montura. That said, he stressed that Montura will operate entirely independently.
Asked about the decision to partner with Nuo, Marenzi said that over the years he has had the opportunity to meet many investment funds, but that driven by the need to find a financial partner, it seemed “the most appropriate because he has a long, non-speculative vision, in line with my own idea of creating value.
In June, Exor revealed that it was further expanding its reach, investing in excellence in consumer goods by supporting the global development of mid-sized Italian companies specializing in this sector through Nuo.
Exor, the family holding company Elkann et Agnelli, owner of Ferrari, has invested in the Chinese project of Hermès International Shang Xia, and in a minority stake in Christian Louboutin.
Nuo CEO Tommaso Paoli said that “true to our vision of growing Italian excellences, we couldn’t have wished for a better start for Montura, a brand and product philosophy that represents the Italian spirit in all its meanings”.
He described Claudio Marenzi as “a visionary and determined entrepreneur who has shown through his company Herno how the structure of medium-sized Italian companies can play a leading role on the world stage. Nuo will support the growth and development of Montura in the market thanks to the network and resources of its two shareholders, Exor and WWIC. “
Marenzi said he has been mountaineering since the late 1970s and bought the first Montura Vertigo pants in 2001. “I have found such great quality and have always loved his products,” said he explained.
Montura was founded in Rovereto, Italy, in 2000 by Roberto Giordani and in 20 years has become a world reference for mountaineers thanks to the quality of its technical mountain products.
“I met Roberto in 2016 and, although we come from different backgrounds, we share the same entrepreneurial values, agreeing that the function of creating and redistributing wealth is essential,” said Marenzi.
Montura is “healthy and strong,” Marenzi said, with sales of over 50 million euros and 30% growth over the past two years, despite the pandemic, which has in fact resulted in “greater demand. of products intended for the exterior “. “
It has a strong distribution in the European alpine areas, as well as a solid activity in South Korea and Japan. However, Giordani wanted to sell the company to devote his time to his solidarity and charitable initiatives, explained Marenzi. “I liked that Montura has his own strong community with activities supporting communities in Tibet, Mongolia and South America,” said Marenzi, who created a foundation to continue on this path. Giordani will become president of the foundation and will guarantee the quality of the projects.
Due to Giordani’s low-key communication and development, Marenzi sees “huge growth potential” for the brand in some regions like the United States, for example, where Montura is underdeveloped.
“Montura is a gem, whose quality, research and development are undisputed, and with the right business development and communication, it can grow significantly,” said Marenzi.
He called the acquisition “a milestone, not necessarily the first of the other acquisitions, but I’m not ruling out the others.” It fits our path. “
Marenzi said Herno recouped lost sales in 2020 this year and expected growth from 2019, when revenue was € 135 million. In 2021, the company is expected to achieve a turnover of more than 125 million euros.
Herno was founded by Marenzi’s parents Giuseppe Marenzi and Alessandra Diana in Lesa, Italy in 1948 and has built a reputation for manufacturing high-end outerwear. The brand began after World War II when Giuseppe lost his job with an aircraft manufacturer and joined a manufacturer of raincoats. He applied the skills he had learned in military aviation by using castor oil, the same substance used in aircraft fuel, to make waterproof cotton for coats.
Marenzi, who is also president of Pitti Immagine, has been with the company since he was a teenager and took the reins in 2007, deciding it was time to revamp Herno’s business model. Instead of manufacturing for other luxury brands, as he did for several years in the 1980s, he chose to focus on growing the Herno brand.
Herno combines technological expertise and modern sensibility. The label was among the first to use high-performance textiles, which it also associates with luxury fabrics in certain pieces. Herno was also a pioneer in the use of lightweight down, which he injected into his clothes instead of using bags.