Chiara Ferragni Welcomes a New Investor – WWD

MILAN – Chiara Ferragni has a new business partner, in an M&A deal that values her company Fenice S.r.l. at a total of 75 million euros.

AVM Gestioni is set to buy a 26 percent stake in Fenice from venture capital company Alchimia SpA, founded by Paolo Barletta. Former Bulgari co-owner Nicola Bulgari’s Annabel Holding is also an Alchimia shareholder. AVM is led by chief executive officer Giovanna Dossena. Prior to the sale, Alchimia held a 40 percent stake in Fenice. Other shareholders included Ferragni’s vehicle Sisterhood with a 32.5 percent stake and N1 and Esuriens with a 13.75 percent each.

As reported, Ferragni last year gave a mandate to BNP Paribas to help find an investor in her company to accelerate growth with more financial muscle.

The deal between Alchimia and AVM Gestioni will see a gradual sale of Alchimia shares up to a maximum of 20 million euros.

Thanking Alchimia and Barletta “for believing over the years in our entrepreneurial adventure,” Ferragni, CEO of Fenice, said she was “proud that AVM has chosen to invest in this brand and that it believes growth passes through my and my team’s managerial continuity.”

On her Instagram account, which counts 29.4 million followers, Ferragni added that “many believed I was not good or intelligent enough to create long-term value, while many others chose to stand by my side,” acknowledging her general manager Fabio Maria Damato and her team of 60 employees.

The deal will take place by the end of the year and will allow AVM to buy the stakes in instalments.

Fenice in 2022 reported revenues of 14.2 million euros, compared with 6.6 million euros in 2021. Net income amounted to 3.4 million euros, compared with 1.9 million euros and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to 5 million euros, or 35 percent on sales, compared with 2.8 million euros in 2021. Aggregate turnover totaled 61 million euros, compared with 26 million euros in 2021.

The company is expecting 2023 revenues to amount to 15 million euros, and aggregate turnover to total 71 million euros. Margins, however, are forecast to be below 2022 levels, with a net income of 2.5 million euros and EBITDA of 3.5 million euros, due to increased investments, including the opening of Ferragni’s first directly operated store in Rome for her namesake brand.

Ferragni is also president and CEO of TBS Crew, the company she founded in 2009 and that manages her The Blonde Salad blog and activities. TBS Crew closed 2022 with revenues of 14.6 million euros and expects sales of 18.9 million euros in 2023. Net income is forecast to amount to 7.3 million euros, compared with 5.1 million euros in 2022.

Barletta, CEO of Alchimia, described the initial deal with Ferragni 10 years ago as “an incredible journey that has led to reaching really sensational and unexpected goals,” pleased with the arrival of “a prestigious” partner such as AVM Gestioni, which will contribute to further expand Ferragni’s business, already spanning over more than 120 countries in the world. “Fresh ideas and resources” brought by the new shareholders will allow the company to accelerate growth over the next years, continued Barletta, and for this reason Alchimia will not exit Fenice.

Ferragni has since 2019 been investing in building a lifestyle concept for her brand, expanding its product offer through a number of new licenses.

These include ready-to-wear and accessories with Swinger, whose first collection under the agreement bowed for fall 2021; footwear with Mofra; a children’s line with Monnalisa; innerwear and beachwear with Velmar; jewelry with Morellato; stationery with Pigna, and children’s products, from strollers to furniture and textiles, with Nanan. Her eyewear collection produced and distributed by Safilo bowed for spring last year.

Her own first makeup line was launched in  November 2021, working with Intercos.

She has also been piling up modeling contracts and ambassadorships with brands ranging from Hublot to hairstyling products company GHD.

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