Carlyle, Investindustrial eying M&A for new design group
(Adds source on foreign expansion, possible IPO)
MILAN, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Private equity firms Carlyle
Group and Investindustrial are teaming up to create a
high-end interior design group which is already looking for
acquisitions to boost growth.
The new venture, called Design Holding, will initially
consist of furniture maker B&B Italia together with Flos and
Louis Poulsen lighting and will have combined sales of more than
500 million euros ($581 million).
The group, which is expected to be up and running by the end
of this year, already has a list of possible targets for future
acquisitions to be funded with the support of its top investors.
"With strong financial backing from Carlyle and
Investindustrial, the group will pursue further acquisitions in
adjacent niches," the Italian and U.S.-based firms said on
Wednesday in a joint statement.
The new group aims to expand in the United States and in
Asia in particular, one source with knowledge of the deal told
The idea is to create a common umbrella for design products
to allow the single brands to develop independently but under
the same leadership, the source said, citing as an example
French luxury group LVMH.
The source added the two main investors could consider an
initial public offering for Design Holding in the medium term as
a way to exit their investment.
The three companies involved in the operation, which are
currently owned by Investindustrial, can boast iconic products
including B&B Italia's armchair "Up" designed by artist Gaetano
Pesce and PH artichoke lamp produced by Denmark's Louis Poulsen.
All three companies will be transferred to the new group in
which investment groups controlled by Carlyle and
Investindustrial will own equal stakes.
JPMorgan and Lazard were financial advisors in the deal,
with legal firms Latham Watkins and Chiomenti advising Carlyle
Group and Investindustrial respectively.
Piero Gandini, the founder of Flos, and the Busnelli family,
which created B&B Italia, will both have minority stakes in the
Gandini, current Flos CEO, will become the new group's
chairman, and Giorgio Busnelli, B&B Italia chairman, will be
appointed vice chairman.
($1 = 0.8608 euros)
(Reporting by Francesca Landini and Elisa Anzolin; editing by
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