21 Invest has signed the sale of PittaRosso, the leading Italian family segment shoe retailer, to Lion Capital, a consumer business focused investment firm. Founded in the 1920’s by the Pittarello family, PittaRosso was acquired by 21 Invest in 2011.
With 21 Invest's support, this leading player in the Italian footwear market significantly grew its store network with 67 new openings to reach a total 120 stores today. PittaRosso also expanded its international footprint and currently has 20 stores across Croatia, Slovenia and, more recently, France. 21 Invest led the transition from a family run to a corporate business, thereby enabling the company to reach its full growth potential, recording double digit growth and becoming the indisputable leader in its reference market. In addition to the store expansion and corporate institutionalization, the company more than doubled the number of its employees, progressing from 630 at entry to 1400 as of December 2014.
On the back of these targeted actions, Pittarosso has more than doubled revenues and tripled Ebitda, the latter respectively expected to reach some €M 240 and €M 28 at 2014 year-end, a particularly impressive feat considering the market challenges undergone by the company. Under the guidance of Lion Capital, the company will further pursue its growth in Italy and abroad.
Alessandro Benetton, Founding Managing Partner of 21 Invest, said: “I am very proud of the results achieved by PittaRosso during these years with 21 Invest. It demonstrates that with passion and courage, together with talent, the right skill set and determination, it is possible to build market leading businesses even in very challenging market conditions. We are happy to partner with Lion Capital and the management team for the next phase of development of this unique business.”
Javier Ferran, Partner of Lion Capital, said: “Over the last three years, PittaRosso has emerged as the best proposition in the Italian footwear market, one of the largest globally. Andrea Cipolloni and his team have done an outstanding job in expanding the store network profitably and we see substantial further potential for the business, both domestically and abroad. We look forward to partnering with Andrea, the management team and 21 Invest to support the continued growth of this unique retail concept. We believe that we are well positioned to contribute to this as a result of our strategic focus on high quality consumer-focused businesses and our deep experience within European retail.”
Andrea Cipolloni, CEO of PittaRosso, said: “I could not be more excited about this new chapter in the history of PittaRosso. The partnership with 21 Invest has been fruitful beyond expectations, and they have been exceptionally supportive through all this time together. I look forward to working with Lion Capital: together we will continue to aggressively expand our store network, both domestically and internationally, and to develop the brand PittaRosso into an icon in our sector. Lion Capital have a deep expertise and a strong track record across the European retail landscape, and they fully understand our brand and our business.”
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