N&Q: Italian family businesses sell to outside investors; fast growing investment group


Closure of Buccellati deal in Italy…

An interesting family business acquisition was completed this week, which involved a high-end Italian jewellery business called Buccellati, an Italian private equity group, and a Chinese conglomerate called Gangtai Group. Gangtai completed the acquisition of Buccellati, which was originally announced late last year. The Chinese group now owns 85% of the Milan-based luxury group.

The deal was done after Clessidra, a private equity group, which is part of Italmobiliare, the Italian investment group controlled by the Pesenti family, one of Italy’s wealthiest, acquired a 67% stake in Buccellati in 2013. The remaining amount back then was owned by the Buccellati family. Clessidra helped Buccellati turn the business around, which secured the deal with the Chinese group. The Buccellati family along with Clessidra own the remaining 15% that wasn’t sold to the Gangtai Group. Seems like all parties might be happy with the deal.


…and another private equity deal in Italy…

Private equity fund Progressio Investimenti has bought a majority stake in Italian packaging group and family business, Garda Plast. The investor has taken a 70% stake from the Tonoli family, with Amos and Luca Tonoli retaining a 30% stake in the business, according to a trade journal. No price was disclosed.  


…and another one potentially on the horizon

According to a Reuters article, the Benetton family’s investment vehicle, Edizione Holding, has been reported in the local Italian press to be one of the potential bidders for the Italian motorcycle brand Ducati. The motorcycle group is being sold by Germany’s Volkswagen.  


Byron Trott’s family business-led investment group BDT is growing very fast

BDT, the investment group founded by Byron Trott, one of the hottest investors in the world right now, is hiring rapidly to meet the demand for its services, says Crain’s. The report says Chicago-based BDT now has 145 staff, 10 times as many as when the firm was launched in 2009. Crain’s quoted a statement from Trott about the growth in hiring: “Our goal remains to be a relatively small firm with big impact… (and to) develop the next generation of professionals to ensure the firm outlasts me and our strong leadership team well into the future.”