It is one of the most famous and well-known maisons in the history of global fashion. In 1957, after having studied in Milan and Paris, Valentino Garavani opened his first fashion house on Rome’s Via Condotti along with some associates, including his own father. Thus, the Valentino brand name was born. Garavani retired from the runways in 2007, with a textbook statement from the bon ton: “I would like to leave the party while it’s still in full swing.”
In July 2012, Valentino Fashion Group was ceded to Mayhoola for Investment for more than 700 million euro. The Qatari society, attributable to Sheik Hamad bin Kahlifa al Thani, Emir of that country, is one of OPEC’s richest and most stable. The seller was the Luxembourger society Red&Black, controlled 80% by the London private equity fund Permira, and 20% by some members of the Marzotto family, minority shareholders in 2007 when Red&Black acquired Valentino Fashion Group for 2.6 billion euro. The operation, which took place before the Lehman Brothers crisis, set a record in Europe and in fashion.
This was a turning point for the historical Roman fashion house, which was valued at quite a sum, equivalent to more than 25 times its 2011 gross operating margin.
Today, Mayhoola has a plan in the works for around 350 million, divided among new equity, refinancing, and new lines of credit placed at the disposition of banks and company cash flow. The objective is to double the retail network, currently composed of hundreds of directly managed mono-brand stores and 150 entrusted to third parties. The goal is also to support Valentino’s growth in the international markets, in particular in Asia and the Middle East, where the label is seeking partnership with local giants in distribution.