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Marcolin, a maxi investment of 250 million dollars: the Tom Ford brand for eyewear is his

The Belluno-based eyewear group signs a perpetual license agreement by participating in the transfer of the American brand to the Estée Lauder cosmetics group

An investment of 250 million dollars (about 240 million euros) to enter the operation that leads Estée Lauder to take over Tom Ford, thus ensuring the perpetual license of the American brand with regard to eyewear. Marcolin Spa, an eyewear group from Belluno, former licensee of Tom Ford eyewear, with this investment is awarded a perpetual license agreement for the American brand.

A large investment to give continuity to a relationship that has lasted for over a dozen years and is of strategic importance for Marcolin's numbers: Tom Ford is in fact one of the heaviest brands in terms of volumes generated. The financing of the operation will take place through a capital increase of at least 50 million euros, explains the Longarone group, and with its own cash. There is no shortage of liquidity, especially in light of the transaction completed less than a year ago which led Marcolin to sell 49% of its shares in the Thelios joint-venture to the luxury giant LVMH, created in 2017 precisely to become the "eyewear expert by Lvmh.

Marcolin's investment takes place within the framework of the maxi transaction worth 2.8 billion dollars (almost 2.7 billion euros) which leads the American cosmetics giant Estée Lauder to acquire control of Tom Ford, the brand of the Texan designer who in the nineties he relaunched Gucci and that in 2005 he founded his own line. Another Italian group, Zegna, enters the operation together with Marcolin, which has also been producing Tom Ford's men's collections under license for years and is now investing by acquiring a license to exclusively produce both men's and women's lines under the Ford brand for 20 years.

Estée Lauder beat the competition from Kering - the giant that controls Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga among others - in this negotiation which confirms the value of a market, that of luxury, which is not feeling the crisis. For Marcolin and Zegna, in the event of the sale of Tom Ford to Kering, the risk was that the French group would decide to make do with both eyewear and clothing. "We are proud of the success achieved by Tom Ford Beauty and its dedication to create desirable and high quality products," says Fabrizio Freda, CEO of Estée Lauder, defining the acquisition "strategic" and able to help the company grow in the «promising category» of luxury beauty. «I couldn't be happier with this acquisition», considering that Estée lauder is the «ideal home for the brand. She has been an amazing partner from day one. Ermenegildo Zegna and Marcolin are also spectacular partners and I'm happy to see that this relationship we've built over 16 years is preserved,” added Tom Ford.

The brand has been on sale for months, and many luxury companies including Kering have studied the dossier. If by hypothesis Kering had prevailed over Lauder, both Marcolin and Zegna would probably have lost their licensing agreements, given that the French giant that controls Gucci already has both an eyewear division and production capacity for clothing and accessories in house.

Guess, Adidas, Moncler, Max Mara, Zegna, Longines, Omega, Tod's, Pucci, Bmw, Swarovski, Max&Co, Timberland, Gant, Harley-Davidson: in addition to Tom Ford, these are the main eyewear brands produced by Marcolin. In the first nine months of the year, net sales of the Longarone group amounted to 409.7 million euros, up by 21% compared to the same period of 2021. Adjusted Ebitda reached 50.5 million euros, compared to 42 as at 30 September 2021.


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