Quadrivio Group

Style Capital snaps up Autry, launches retail expansion plan

The Italian private equity group Style Capital has acquired a 50.2 percent stake in Autry International, the owner of the Italian sneakers brand Autry, and announced a retail expansion plan that will see the opening of more than 20 Autry brand stores in luxury shopping destinations in Italy and abroad.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but MF Fashion reported on March 9 that the deal had been signed and valued Autry at €320 million, above previous reports indicating a roughly €300 million valuation. Style Capital acquired Autry from the Made in Italy Fund, which is managed by Quadrivio, an Italian asset management group, and the fashion consultancy Pambianco.

Quadrivio and Pambianco will also reinvest in Autry through their Made in Italy Fund II vehicle, which has a fundraising target of €500 million, while the Doro family will maintain a “significant” stake. According to MF Fashion, the Made in Italy Fund II will own about 8 percent and the Doro family 42 percent.

Marco Doro and other businessmen acquired Autry in 2019 with a view of relaunching it, while the €300 million inaugural Made in Italy Fund acquired a controlling stake in Autry along with Ghoud, a smaller Italian sneaker brand that was founded by Doro, in 2021.

The Made in Italy Fund said its capital gain on the sale, which marks the fund’s first exit, stands at four times its capital investment, while its internal rate of return (IRR) on the investment came in at 75 percent. Autry’s revenues grew from about €3 million in 2020 to €30 million in 2021 to over €110 million in the 2023 fiscal year, which ends this month. Ebitda rose to more than €33 million in 2023 from €8 million in 2021.

Roberta Benaglia, the CEO of Style Capital, said that Style Capital aims to “consolidate this rapid growth, creating the foundations (of investment and know-how) for a sustainable, long-term and far-reaching international” expansion. As was the case for Golden Goose, a previous Style Capital investment now owned by the private equity group Permira, she said the hope is “to identify a winning product and turn it into an iconic brand; one must invest in storytelling and brand awareness, never neglecting product innovation,” Benagalia said.

Aside from its plans to open Autry brand stores, Style Capital said it also intends to further develop the sneaker brand’s online business and to consolidate wholesale distribution at the international level.

The Made in Italy Fund said its original investment in Autry was aimed at strengthening the positioning of the brand, as well as its wholesale and online distribution, by accelerating international expansion. Autry is currently sold through roughly 750 multibrand stores, mainly in Europe, while online sales represent about 20 percent of the sales total.

Style Capital noted that “some important families with a significant entrepreneurial tradition” had co-invested alongside it in the investment vehicle through which it purchased the majority stake in Autry.

Style Capital, which focuses on lifestyle segment investments, had money to spend after agreeing to sell a majority stake in the Australian fashion brand Zimmermann to the US private equity firm Advent International. No financial details were released for that transaction, but according to Reuters, the transaction valued Zimmermann at about 14 times its core profit, or more than $1 billion.