China-focused international investment firm IDG Capital and Hong Kong-based I.T Group have taken shareholdings in Scandinavian luxury fashion house Acne Studios.
The two companies have purchased 30.1 per cent and 10.9 per cent respectively, and are likely to lead the business to new growth in its key Asian markets. I.T Group has served as Acne’s Asian retail partner for more than 15 years, while IDG Group specialises in expansion opportunities in China and beyond.
The firm had been rumoured to be facing a buyout by a rival brand and had been in discussions with potential buyers for at least five years. Acne founder Jonny Johansson and executive chairman Mikael Schiller will remain the majority of shares.
In a statement concerning the transfer, Schiller said: “Acne Studios will greatly benefit from their extensive know-how within fashion and the rapidly evolving universe of online and offline retail”.
The trade took place against a backdrop of market uncertainty, partly brought on by the China/US trade dispute. Earlier in the year, the fashion and luxury market was evaluated far more favourably.
Acne generated US$221 million in sales last year, and an operating profit of $35 million. The brand has a foothold in 13 countries with 50 stores. Current market conditions saw the firm’s sales growth drop to a 10-year low, with its dependence on wholesaler distribution marked as a potential weakness.