Marquee Brands is buying Bruno Magli, a luxury brand known for its footwear.
The transaction follows several other luxury apparel deals, especially for shoes. Earlier in January, Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) announced a deal to buy luxury shoe brand Stuart Weitzman for $574 million. In March, high-end footwear group Brian Atwood was sold to Steven Madden Ltd. (Nasdaq: SHOO).
Bruno Magli, headquartered in Bologna, Italy, has made footwear for a global consumer base, including celebrities, such as Solange Knowles and Lupita Nyong'o, and royals, since 1936. The company also makes handbags and accessories. The brand's corporate office will be moved to New York after the deal closes, but the company's core footwear and leather products will continue to be designed and manufactured in Italy.
The business, which is being sold by asset manager Da Vinci Invest filed for insolvency in July after years of debts piled up to almost 20 million.
New York-based Marquee focuses on growing brands through expanding products and geographies. The firm says it has started securing partnerships with more retailers for Bruno Magli. Marquee is sponsored by Neuberger Berman Private Equity, a unit of Neuberger Berman, an employee-controlled investment manager.
Cleary Cottlieb's Milan office and Studio Gnudi, advised Marquee on the deal.
Aside from interest in luxury footwear, the mid-market footwear space has also been attracting buyers. In August, Steve Madden acquired Dolce Vita Holdings for about $60 million. In August, Bain Capital LLC agreed to buy a 50 percent stake in casual footwear maker Toms Shoes Inc. Before, that, in June, Palladin Consumer Retail Partners LLC bought footwear retailer Aerosoles.
The Bruno Magli brand was brought to the American consciousness when a pair of the company's mens shoes were featured as evidence in the OJ Simpson murder trial in the late '90s.