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Ganni gets private equity boost, plans major expansion

Ganni SS18

Danish label-of-the-moment Ganni has sold a 51% stake to private equity firm L Catterton for an undisclosed sum. The new owner, one of whose shareholders is LVMH, wants to expand it globally beyond its Copenhagen base.

CEO Nicolaj Reffstrup told Business of Fashion that “we had taken Ganni to a point where we needed to look for a partner, and that would be someone who would take what we are good at and try to leverage that on an international scale. Trying to build an international brand out of Copenhagen is pretty tough… We are at a certain size where it doesn’t make sense to look for basic capital or minority investment.”

The 17-year-old label was founded by Frans Truelsen with Reffstrup and his wife Ditte, who is also the brand’s creative director, taking over eight years ago.

They turned it from a cashmere specialist into an influencer brand, expanding sales from €1m to €45m in the process.

L Catterton’s interest is clear as the brand continues to grow fast and, importantly, to retain the Scandi cool factor in the process.

Its involvement should mean growth in the US, Europe and Asia, just like other investments the private equity giant has made such as Gant, SMCP and Giuseppe Zanotti.

Reffstrup said that L Catterton’s knowledge of “how to build global super brand[s]” and its links to LVMH will be valuable. “Quite frankly, we left a lot of money on the table because we wanted to go with the right partner, rather than the best price point,” he told BoF.

The company will continue to open stores at up to six a year to supplement its existing 21 in Scandinavia, its wholesale stockist and its growing e-tail business. It sees the US as a major target market to focus on but will be careful that it doesn’t over-expand. In fact it has already been culling some wholesale stockists and this means that discount-focused US department stores are likely to be low priorities.

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