Italian court approves rescue of hat maker Borsalino

Hat maker Borsalino, known for its fedoras worn for decades by actors and celebrities from Humphrey Bogart to Rihanna, will be rescued following a decision by an Italian court, which on Wednesday gave the green light to its industrial relaunch.


Judges in the northern city of Alessandria, where the company was founded in 1857, ruled in favour of a rescue plan from Italian businessman Philippe Camperio, co-founder of private equity firm Quest Partners.

Camperio will become the new majority stakeholder of the once family-owned Borsalino through Haeres Equita, a private equity investment company.

His plan is expected to save the jobs of its 110 workers and settle outstanding debts with creditors, including banks, suppliers and Italy's tax authorities.

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Despite a strong brand, the company has lost millions of euros in the last years, returning to profit only in the first months of 2015.

Current Chief Executive Marco Moccia has led the company since the former majority owner Marco Marenco was stripped of his powers in 2008 and then arrested in April 2015 over alleged bankruptcy and fraud.

Like many small family-owned fashion companies, Borsalino has lacked the funds and management skills to survive the country's triple dip recession.

With revenues of 15.5 million euros in 2015, Borsalino is expecting 17 million euros of revenue this year, a company statement said on Wednesday, adding that it sells about 165,000 items a year in 50 countries.

 

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