The eco brief. The Italian Agnelli takes a stake in Louboutin shoes

Louboutin shoes, in 2019 (illustration). (ANGELA WEISS / AFP)

Something to see red on all floors: the Agnelli family are the famous Ferraris, iconic sports cars, mostly red. As for Louboutin, it is these shoes with red soles, recognizable among a thousand and whose stylists highlight the feminine allure, curvy and theatrical. Here is the latest stroke of genius from the Italian family, whose parent company Exor will spend 540 million euros to take 24% of the capital of Christian Louboutin. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.

The Italian family plays its strengthening in luxury and the desire to diversify outside the automobile. It can easily afford it, because it has a war chest of 840 million euros, from the extraordinary dividends received following the merger of Fiat (Agnelli) and Chrysler with the French PSA to form the new auto group Stellantis . In December, the Italian group became the largest shareholder of Shang Xia, the Chinese brand of the French group Hermès. By rising this time to Louboutin’s capital, the Agnellis are adding a prestigious brand to their portfolio and expanding their territorial network.

The brand born in 1991 from the imagination of designer Christian Louboutin is now present in thirty countries, with 150 stores. For the French shoemaker, this operation corresponds to a new phase of development, in particular of its international presence by boosting its distribution network, particularly in China. It will also be an opportunity for shoes with red soles to develop their digital capacities. Louboutin is expanding its digital presence by establishing itself on gaming platforms, such as Zepeto, to attract a new generation of customers.

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