MILAN, June 20 Italian private equity firm
Clessidra could take a stake of around a third in Harmont &
Blaine to help the Naples-based firm expand ahead of a planned
bourse listing, the head of the high-end casual wear maker said
Clessidra entered in March exclusive talks for an investment
in Harmont & Blaine, famous for its collar shirts branded with a
dachshund. Clessidra Vice-Chairman Francesco Trapani said last
week talks were ongoing and could be finalised over the summer
if things worked out.
"There shouldn't be any obstacles for that time frame to be
confirmed," Harmont & Blaine CEO Domenico Menniti said, adding
the possible investment would be for a stake of between 30 and
35 percent via the issue of new shares.
Menniti spoke after a showcase of the Spring/Summer 2015
collection, dominated by white and turquoise as the brand tries
to emphasise its Mediterranean roots.
Harmont & Blaine had revenues of 71 million euros in 2013,
which Menniti said would rise to just above 100 million euros
The company is targeting sales of 200 million euros by the
end of 2017, with the share of revenues made abroad rising to 60
percent of the total by then from 20 percent currently.
"Our goal is a bourse listing at the latest in 2018 but I am
betting on 2017," the CEO said.
Russia, where Harmont and Blaine has recently inaugurated
two stores with a third opening planned this year, will become
the group's second-biggest market by the end of 2015, Menniti
said, dismissing worries about the impact of the Ukraine crisis.
He pointed instead to the difficulties the Italian economy
faced after a two-year recession that brought unemployment to
"The situation is bad in terms of confidence and spending
capacity," he said.
"Italy is not Milan, but even in Milan without the Russians,
the Chinese and a little bit the Arabs, I think few shop signs
would still be up in the luxury shopping district."
(Reporting by Mark Potter)