Luxembourg investment firm L-GAM Advisors Sarl has finalized the acquisition of the majority of US sportswear and outerwear brand Woolrich. Cristina Calori, former majority shareholder and owner of WP Lavori in Corso Srl and WP Holding Srl, has confirmed the disposal of her entire stake in the historic American brand.
At the same time, the Japanese group Goldwin Inc. increases its shareholding in the company. In addition to the participation at the group level, Goldwin and Woolrich will establish a new joint venture focused on the Asian markets, with an immediate emphasis on South Korea starting from the f/w 2019 season.
The entry in the share capital of L-Gam marks the completion of a transaction aimed to strengthen the company's financial capacity and involve the brand in wider internationalization projects.
"We are very proud of this agreement,” commented Paolo Corinaldesi, CEO, Woolrich International. "It is an important step towards achieving the ambitious goals that the company has set for itself. The partnership with L-Gam, a fund with a longer term investment approach, will ensure the continuity of our headquarters and management, while at the same time enabling us to expand the business, with investments in Europe, North America, Japan and Asia, also thanks to the strategic partnership with Goldwin. Our goal remains to be listed on the stock market within five years."
Woolrich International, which closed 2017 registering revenues of €180 million, has a global network of 32 branded stores, the most recent of which opened in October 2018 in Tokyo. Stores in Rome and New York will open next.
“The agreement with L-Gam is key to the company's growth aspirations," said Andrea Canè, creative brand director. “Woolrich has a great deal of unrealized potential and the new shareholder’s strategic and financial contribution will allow a faster expansion of the company’s emerging global presence. The evolution of the product range has already begun as Woolrich’s f/w 2018-19 collections, which will be launched shortly, will mark a major step forward in terms of branding and image."
"It is time to grow our ability to attract customers across all generations, not only in outerwear, but in all categories of our lifestyle range," explained Canè. "We should increasingly appeal to the millennial generation that appreciates the values of comfort and durability that have always distinguished our historic brand. Our mission is to create ‘modern authentic’ products, where modernity and historical authenticity are brought together in new iconic products."
Cristina Calori will continue developing her own WP Lavori in Corso Srl and WP Holding Srl company’s projects. Among them there are, for instance, the worldwide expansion of Baracuta, which she owns 100%; Barbour, which WP distributes to Italy and will celebrate its 125th anniversary during Pitti Uomo in January 2019; Blundstone, whose Italian distribution will also grow in Europe; and further initiatives tied to WP Stores multibrand retail network. Other new projects include the distribution of the apparel collection of Deus Ex Machina (also see: https://www.sportswear-international.com/news/retailertowatch/Retailer-To-Watch-Filippo-Bassoli-People-love-our-creativity-and-unique-products-12454), the international concept store chain. WP has been distributing it since s/s 2018 and will further showcase it at Pitti Uomo in January 2019.