Cross-border PwC team helps Italians acquire Zimmermann

15 December 2020 Consultancy.com.au

Australian luxury brand Zimmermann has been acquired by Style Capital, an Italian private equity group. The deal was advised on by consultants from PwC’s M&A arms in Australia and Italy.

Back in 1991 sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann teamed up to launch Zimmermann, and under their direction the company has grown to an international luxury fashion brand. Headquartered in Sydney, Zimmermann designs, markets and sells ready-to-wear and swim & resort collections through its owned retail stores (19 in Australia) and online platform, as well as through select luxury department stores, boutiques and online fashion retailers.

Early 2016 the retailer received a financial injection from General Atlantic, and with the funding Zimmermann embarked on an expansion drive, opening flagship stores across the United States, increasing its presence in the European market, expanding its global e-commerce presence and capability, and strengthening its wholesale distribution with premium luxury partners. 

Cross-border PwC team helps Italians acquire Zimmermann

With the aim of taking the firm to the next level, Zimmermann has now roped in Style Capital – an Italian investor that already co-owns brands such as Forte_Forte, Re/Done and MSGM. The deal sees Style Capital take a 70% stake in Zimmermann, while the brand’s founding family will retain the remaining 30%. General Atlantic has exited its ownership.

“We are excited to partner with the team at Style Capital as we continue on our journey to build a unique global luxury brand from Australia. We are so excited by what lies ahead,” said Nicky Zimmermann.

Buyer Style Capital received M&A advice from PwC, Rotschild and law firms Russo De Rosa Associati, McDermott Will & Emery, Allens, and King & Wood Mallesons & Co.

PwC’s advised the Italians on the tax due diligence with a team led by Nicola Broggi, Alessandro Campione (PwC Italy) and Trinh Hua, Ann Le and Sean McCann (PwC Australia). The Big Four firm also provided financial advisory services, led by Italy-based Emanuela Pettenò. 

Commenting on the acquisition, Style Capital CEO Roberta Benaglia said: “In recent years, I have followed the brand’s growth path with admiration, thinking how brave and talented these two Australian sisters have been in taking their luxury vision from Australia to the rest of the world. I therefore consider this partnership with Zimmermann a real privilege for Style Capital.” 

Other dealmakers that provided buy-side support include: Valerio Libani, Alessandro Manico, Francesco Belletti and Mattia Cardinali from Russo De Rosa Associati; Ettore Scandale, Emidio Cacciapuoti, Enrico Raso, and Davide Massiglia from McDermott Will & Emery.

Sell-side M&A consultants were at the time of writing not known. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.