Tod’s owner gets help from L Catterton to take the company private

MILAN – The founding family of Italian luxury shoemaker Tod’s is trying to take the company private for the second time in less than two years, this time with the help of L Catterton, a private equity firm backed by France’s LVMH.

A longstanding shareholder in Tod’s, LVMH in 2021 raised its stake in the Italian group to 10 per cent in a move that sources at the time described of “friendly support”.

L Catterton said in the offer’s document it had agreed with Tod’s majority shareholder, the Della Valle family, that a delisting would give the firm “greater management and organisational flexibility, with faster decision-making”, while cutting management and listing costs.

In agreement with the Della Valles, L Catterton is offering to buy 36 per cent of Tod’s at 43 euros ($46) a share, a 17.6 per cent premium to Friday’s closing price, spending up to 512 million euros.

The offer values the company at just over 1.4 billion euros (S$2.03 billion), versus a market value of 1.2 billion.

“Leaving the stock exchange now… is the most appropriate strategic choice,” Tod’s Chief Executive Diego Della Valle said in a statement.

In 2022, Tod’s founding family tried to take the Milan-listed group private in an effort to revive its fortunes by managing its diverse brands separately, but failed to reach the 90 per cent ownership threshold needed and dropped the bid. Shareholders were then offered 40 euros per share.

Under the deal, CEO and founder Diego Della Valle will tender his 10.45 per cent stake in the company to L Catterton, while retaining 54 per cent of the company together with his brother Andrea.

LVMH will keep its 10 per cent stake and L Catterton will own the remainder of Tod’s if the tender offer is successful.

L Catterton said late on Saturday that failing to reach the threshold needed to delist the company, it will take Tod’s private by merging the group into the vehicle used to launch the offer.

In addition to the eponymous brand, famous for its Gommino loafers, Tod’s also owns the iconic Roger Vivier shoe brand, as well as the Fay and Hogan labels. REUTERS

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