The real reason owners of Ferrari just took Louboutin under its wings
Exor NV, the holding company of Italy’s billionaire Agnelli family, owners of Italian icons Ferrari and Juventus, is acquiring a 24% stake in Christian Louboutin's epynomous footwear label for 541 million euros ($642 million). The deal is a noteworthy one in the post-Covid era as some 20% of the Louboutin stores remain shut across US due to local lockdowns; Louboutin operates more than 150 outlets in 30 countries and will continue to expand its digital presence with a particular focus in China, reports suggest.
According to a joint statement, the 541 million euro investment will give the Agnellis two seats out of seven on the Louboutin board. "Exor's commitment to building great companies makes it an excellent partner for Christian Louboutin at a moment when this established brand is poised to capture significant new opportunities," the statement read.
According to industry insiders, half of Loubutin's sales come from their signature, steep red-bottomed heels, but with pandemic closures and stay-at-home orders, these sales have taken a hit. Although demand for luxury footwear is bouncing back as people are slowly resuming black-tie events or social dos, it will take some time for brands like Loubutin to recuperate commercially.
Exor's purchase of Louboutin stakes when the footwear label is “poised to capture significant new opportunities,” include physical expansion with a particular focus on China, as more and more luxury groups have realised the escalating significance of sales in the superpower in the coming year, especially amid the pandemic. And Exor’s move seems to be planned along the same lines.
In addition to Christian Louboutin and Ferrari, Exor is also the largest shareholder in luxury sports car Stellantis, the world’s sixth-biggest automobile manufacturer created in January from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and rival PSA.