Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Chimera has launched a joint venture with Haeres Capital to create a new luxury and lifestyle European player looking to revive French haute couture label Vionnet, while seeking other opportunities in Italy, France, Switzerland, and the UK.
The new joint venture will be called ChimHaeres Investment Holding and will deploy its own capital towards the acquisition and build-up of luxury and lifestyle brands in Europe, starting with the storied brand Vionnet.
In a statement, ChimHaeres said it has acquired 100 percent of Vionnet, the French haute couture label founded in 1912 by Madeleine Vionnet. In 2018, the French label and its holding company NVO Srl went through a voluntary liquidation.
ChimHaeres also secured a majority stake in Swiss fashion hosiery brand Fogal founded in 1921 and completed a majority stake in Zagato, the Italian coachbuilder and car designer, founded in 1919. In addition, Haeres added that it is folding into the new vehicle its majority equity stake in hat manufacturer Borsalino, established in 1857 in Italy.
ChimHaeres will be led by chief executive Philippe Camperio, founder of Haeres Capital, and supported by a strong team of industry veterans, including Antonella di Pietro, Alberto Nathansohn, Giacomo Santucci and Jérôme Macario, as well as a seasoned team of experts in the operations, financial, and legal fields.
Commenting on the launch, Camperio said: “ChimHaeres embodies the shared vision of both Chimera and Haeres to build and manage a multi-brand luxury and lifestyle platform. The partnership will invest in unique European assets applying a pro-active management and ownership approach, through dedicated industry experts, to deliver the long-term strategies of each portfolio company.”
ChimHaeres acquires Vionnet and majority stakes in Fogal and Zagato
ChimHaeres said it remains on the “lookout for investments in strong aspirational luxury and lifestyle brands with high growth potential”. The aim is to accelerate these brands' growth with a focus on international expansion, digital transformation, and sustainability. The initial focus will be on brands and companies in the UK, Italy, France, and Switzerland.
Giovanni Maria Rossi was named chairman of ChimHaeres and said: “I strongly believe that thanks to the team, the vision, the experience, and the available capital now in place, ChimHaeres is ideally positioned to become a key player in the luxury industry in Europe.”
Mirian Khalaf, head of private equity at Chimera Abu Dhabi, added: “The global luxury market has shown remarkable growth and resilience in recent years despite the pandemic and various macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges. We are confident that our partnership with Haeres will enable us to capitalise on the attractive long-term fundamentals of the industry and establish ourselves as a leading investor in the European lifestyle space.
“We look forward to working with Philippe and his team to position appealing ‘legacy’ and ‘next gen’ brands with favourable growth profiles to serve a younger and increasingly more global audience.”
ChimHaeres is registered in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) with operating entities in Milan, Italy and Geneva, Switzerland.