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Zilli acquired by Negma and FAI

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

14 Dec 2021

Business

Image: Zilli Facebook

French fashion house Zilli, known for its menswear and pioneering the luxury leather jacket, has been acquired by investment company Negma Group and Futuro all’Impresa (FIA), an Italian corporate finance advisory firm specialising in restructuring and acquisitions.

Negma and FIA have taken a majority interest in the storied French menswear brand to secure its future, following approval from the chairman of the Commercial Court of Lyon.

Zilli, founded by Alain Schimel in 1965, has developed into a complete luxury menswear wardrobe from suits to shirts, small leather goods, belts, knitwear, jeans, footwear, eyewear and fragrances.

Negma and FAI said in a statement that the investment would allow it to consolidate the Zilli fashion brand and set it up as a “key player in luxury menswear”. It added that it will do this by highlighting its identity and the history it has built up over the 50 years and capitalising on its Lyon-based expertise.

Looking ahead to the future, the new investors said that it would begin by strengthening its current markets while also “rapidly developing” in the Middle East, European and Asian markets. Priority investment would be made in the marketing and communication departments to “modernise its image and broaden the target audience”.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, however, Negma said that the takeover involved keeping the company’s 70 current employees in France, 54 of which are on the production site in the Dardilly workshops.

The new Zilli will be led by Giuseppe Di Nuccio, who has 25 years of experience in director-level roles at luxury brands such as Jil Sander, Burberry and Giorgio Armani.

Anthony de Rauville, chief investment officer at Negma Group, said in a statement: “Zilli is a high-value company with considerable human capital. Zilli is a strategic, long-term acquisition for Negma and we are happy to provide our human and capital resources, which are essential to develop the Zilli brand and bring it to centre stage.”

Guglielmo Ruggeri, director general at FAI, added: “We are very proud to be given the responsibility for Zilli house. We will be bringing in a very professional team, which will work hand-in-hand with the teams in place to create the platform that is needed for sustainable growth and the creation of value over the long term.”