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Private equity firm Permira acquires Golden Goose from Carlyle Group

By Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez

12 Feb 2020

New York – Golden Goose, Permira and The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) announced Wednesday that the private equity firm will acquire Carlyle’s majority stake in the Italian luxury fashion brand. The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the next months.

“This is really about backing the sneaker trend, the casualisation of everybody’s wardrobes,” said to the ‘Financial Times’ Tara Alhadeff, a principal at Permira who worked on the deal. Once people realise you can look good and be comfortable, that’s an irreversible move people make in their wardrobes,” she added.

Although no financial details have been confirmed by the involved parties as yet, sources familiar with the matter quoted by Reuters pointed out that when Carlyle in December kicked off the sale process, it was waiting to receive bids valuing the brand at no less than 1.2 billion euros. Another source close to the deal said that Permira was vying with rival private equity firm Advent and U.S. SPAC Acamar, as informed by Nasdaq.

Carlyle divests from Golden Goose after doubling revenue in two years

Carlyle is divesting from the coveted sneakers’ brand two years after it acquired it through Carlyle Europe Partners IV (CEP IV), a European-focused, upper-mid market buyout fund, and Carlyle Asia Growth Partners V (CAGP V). During their ownership, revenues have grown from 100 million euro to estimated revenues in excess of 260 million euro for 2019, according to Carlyle.

Carlyle has a well-established presence within the fashion and luxury industry, with investments including Moncler, Twinset and Hunkmöller. Permira isn’t new to the industry either, having invested in Dr. Martens, Reformation, Hugo Boss and Valentino.

Commenting on the deal, the CEO at Golden Goose, Silvio Campara, said that “Since the foundation of Golden Goose in 2000, we have strived to create innovative products for our customers, combining craftsmanship and a refined and modern style. We thank Carlyle for their support and partnership in leading the company through a phenomenal period of growth. Today marks an important milestone for the brand, as we partner with Permira. Their experience and excellent track record in the consumer sector will be invaluable to us as we continue to grow and deliver our products to an increasingly global audience.”

Similarly, Francesco Pascalizi, Partner at Permira, explained the reasons why they decided to invest in the high-end fashion brand, highlighting that “Golden Goose is a “next-gen” luxury brand and can be considered the ‘creator’ of the high-end sneakers category. Over recent years the company has experienced outstanding growth, driven by its excellent management team. We look forward to leveraging our experience to support Golden Goose through the next phase of development.”

Finally, Massimiliano Caraffa, Managing Director at The Carlyle Group, highlighted some of their partnership’s milestones: “We are particularly proud of having contributed to the company’s exceptional growth over the past three years, including opening 100 directly-owned stores globally and establishing a leading omnichannel platform.”

Established in 2000 in Venice, Italy, Golden Goose is one of the fastest growing luxury fashion brands. The company has operations in Europe, US and Asia, has a network of 100 directly-owned stores and a fast growing online presence.

Photo: Golden Goose, GG Facebook Official Page