Style Capital Is Buying a Majority Stake in Sneaker Brand Autry

MILAN – Style Capital has secured another deal.

On Saturday, the Milan-based private equity fund said it has inked an agreement with Autry International to buy a 50.2 percent stake in premium sneaker brand Autry. Style Capital is buying Autry from The Made in Italy Fund and the brand’s founders, the Doro family. The transaction value is pegged at around 300 million euros. The Made in Italy fund will reinvest a share of 8 percent and the Doro family will retain a 42 percent share.

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The Made in Italy Fund, which is managed by Quadrivio and Pambianco and invests in wine, food, beauty, fashion and furniture, in 2021 acquired a majority stake in Autry and sneaker brand Ghoud. The fund over the years invested in brands ranging from 120% Lino and Rosantica to Dondup and GCDS. Former Gucci and Golden Goose chairman Patrizio di Marco had also become an investor in the Made in Italy Fund and had been named president of Ghoud and Autry.

With a strong market positioning, inspired by the American sneaker brand of the 1970s and 1980s, Autry has grown to reach sales of more than 110 million euros in 2023 in two years, growing from 30 million euros.

The objective of Style Capital is to consolidate “this rapid growth, laying the foundations (investment and know-how’s wise) for a sustainable long-term and internationally growth path,” said Roberta Benaglia, founder and chief executive officer of Style Capital. “The dream, as it was for Golden Goose [a previous Style Capital investment] is always to identify a winning product and transform it into an iconic brand, invest in storytelling and brand awareness, never neglecting product innovation. With these premises, we will be happy to contribute to the expansion journey of a company that has proven to be so dynamic in recent years and, alongside the founders, assist in writing the next chapter of this wonderful success story.”

Autry is carried by around 750 multibrand boutiques in Italy and abroad, mainly in Europe, and its digital channel generates around 20 percent of sales.

The agreement will kick off a retail expansion in Italy and outside the country, with the opening of more than 20 monobrand stores in key luxury locations, continuing the digital channel development, and consolidating wholesale distribution internationally.

“It is an immense pleasure for us to be supported by a prestigious partner like Style Capital, whose extensive knowledge of the sector, strong long-standing strategic relationships with international partners, and a successful investment track record will help Autry consolidate its international development and launch a solid retail development plan,” said Marco Doro, cofounder of Autry.

Style Capital’s portfolio includes Los Angeles-based denim brand Re/Done and Italian labels Forte Forte and MSGM. In 2021, it invested 130 million euros to acquire a 40 percent stake in Florence-based multibrand e-tailer LuisaViaRoma, one of the four leading luxury online shopping destinations in Europe and the U.S. In September, it signed an investment agreement to acquire an 80 percent stake in French brand Soeur with an enterprise value of 70 million euros.

Last August, Style Capital said it was selling a majority stake in Zimmermann to Advent. The Italian fund and the Zimmermann family retain a significant minority shareholding. Style Capital originally acquired a 70 percent stake in Zimmermann in late 2020. Other previous investments range from Twin-Set and Sundek to Damiani.

In January, Benaglia told WWD that Style Capital was eyeing the acquisition of New Guards Group, although she was cautious about the outcome of the discussions, saying it was “complicated as there are several major parties involved.” New Guards Group, whose fate is in doubt following the rescue of parent company Farfetch by Coupang, is home to 10 brands, which include Marcelo Burlon County of Milan, Palm Angels, Unravel Project, Heron Preston, Alanui, Peggy Gou, Ambush and There Was One. It is also the licensee of Off-White and is the European partner of Reebok. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2021 bought a majority stake in Off-White LLC, the trademark owner of the late Virgil Abloh’s Off-White brand.

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