Fosun Fashion Group Acquires Sergio Rossi

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Sergio Rossi has confirmed it is now part of Fosun Fashion Group’s growing stable of brands. Sergio Rossi

China’s Fosun Fashion Group has acquired Sergio Rossi for an undisclosed sum, the luxury Italian shoemaker said Thursday.

The deal is the latest signal of Fosun’s international fashion ambitions. Its portfolio already includes Lanvin, St Johns, Tom Tailor and Wolford. In 2019 Bloomberg reported the company was raising $100 million with an eye to further its fashion and lifestyle investments.

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Fosun acquires Sergio Rossi brand from a subsidiary of investment house Investindustrial, which has been working on relaunching the brand since taking over from French luxury goods group Kering in 2015. Last year the brand reported revenues of €60 million ($73 million) down from €66.5 million ($80.87 million) in 2019, according to a Reuters report citing data filed with the local chamber of commerce in the Emilia Romagna region, where the company is based.

In China, chief executive Riccardo Sciutto has cut ties with poorly-performing franchises and concentrated on expanding the brand’s own store network and online presence over the last five years.

Fosun’s acquisition gives the brand a powerful new backer in the booming Chinese market, where Sergio Rossi has been gaining ground in recent years. Sergio Rossi gives Fosun a foothold in the luxury footwear market, which has outperformed other luxury categories over the pandemic period.

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Though Fosun’s portfolio of fashion brands is diverse in terms of categories and price points, Fosun’s brands, including its newest acquisition, are tied by their strong heritage credentials and their arguably under-developed exposure in China, the world’s largest fashion and luxury market.

According to the Worldwide Luxury Market Monitor released last November by Bain & Co. and Fondazione Altagamma, shoes were the best-performing category in 2020, taking less of a hit than watches and apparel, with sales declining 12 percent last year to €19 billion ($23.1 billion).

Footwear also has considerable room to grow as a category in China. Euromonitor International estimates the total value of footwear sales in mainland China in 2019 at 435.2 billion yuan ($68.1 billion), with the market set to grow to 563.2 billion yuan ($88.1 billion) by 2024.

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The deal was first reported by WWD.

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