International fashion group OTB announced yesterday that it had completed the acquisition of the minimalist luxury brand Jil Sander. Le prix de vente reste confidentiel. The purchase price remains confidential. The acquisition continues OTB’s position as one of the leading luxury brands in Italy.
Formerly owned by Japanese group Onward Holding, the German fashion house now joins OTB’s portfolio of brands alongside Diesel, Maison Margiela and Marni.
The group now controls 100% of Jil Sander’s capital but according to OTB Group chairman Renzo Rosso, Jil Sander’s creative directors Luke and Lucie Meier will remain at the helm as sales have soared after their arrival.
The move is part of OTB’s strategy to consolidate its presence in the high-end fashion sector in order to attract Generation Z in China.
OTB China CEO Giovanni Pungetti revealed that during the pandemic, the group’s brands, Marni, Diesel and Maison Margiela, all now on Tmall, saw double-digit growth in online sales. The group also took advantage of this period to experiment with livestream channels, which met with surprisingly positive results.
Jil Sander’s sales in 2020 were $92 million, and in recent years its minimalist design has received particular attention from young Chinese. On Little Red Book, it has over 20,000 hits of user-generated content.
However, the brand currently has few sales channels: its official WeChat account shows that it has only one shop in China and no presence on local e-commerce platforms such as Tmall or the WeChat Mini Program.
Under OTB’s leadership, Jil Sander is likely to accelerate its online expansion through direct channels in the country.
As a reminder, Onward had bought the Jil Sander brand for about $244 million in 2008. Last month, Onward announced in a Tokyo Stock Exchange statement that the subsidiary had recorded a loss of 17.8 million euros ($21.22 million) in the year to February 2020.
In a recent statement regarding the acquisition, Onward Holding revealed how “the global outbreak of COVID-19 infections has further aggravated the business environment abroad, particularly in Europe, and has had a strong impact on the financial results of the Onward Group.”
The deal also follows a wave of brand acquisitions by Italian fashion companies, such as Moncler buying Stone Island, Antonioli buying Ann Demeulemeester, and Style Capital buying Zimmerman. And, according to Renzo Rosso, “the pace of Italian mergers and acquisitions will continue to accelerate”.
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