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Golden Goose Acquires Its Main Sneaker Supplier

MILAN — As a sign of the times, yet another Italian company is investing in verticalizing its own structure and manufacturing pipeline.

On Wednesday, Golden Goose, best known for its Superstar sneaker, said it was acquiring its main supplier, Italian Fashion Team, in a strategic step for the company.

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“Golden’s artisanal tradition is reflected in the warmth of a handmade object,” said Golden Goose chief executive officer Silvio Campara. “Each of our products tells a unique story of excellence, made by extraordinary people and responsible processes. As we continue this beautiful journey, we want partners that will share our values of care, authenticity and quality.”

Financial details of the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of the year, were not disclosed.

Golden Goose acquired IFT from its founder and CEO Michele Zonno and his family. Zonno will continue to lead IFT with the goal to manage the company’s new development phase and maintain the company’s solid relations with the local community in Casarano, near Lecce in the Apulia region, where it is based. This is one of the country’s sneaker production hubs.

Founded in 2007, IFT specializes in the design, production and distribution of high-end footwear for some of the most established Italian luxury brands. In 2021, its team of more than 250 employees produced more than 700,000 sneaker units.

Zonno said the transaction comes “at a moment of such important growth. IFT and Golden Goose have worked together for seven years. This is the natural evolution of a strong and long-lasting relationship. Supporting Italian excellence and local talent is fundamental for us and I am happy to be able to collaborate with a company that shares our same values.”

Golden Goose last year saw strong growth in its online sales and an outstanding performance in the Americas, driving revenues up 45 percent to 385.6 million euros, representing a 46 percent improvement versus 2019.

In 2020, the brand was acquired by private equity fund Permira from the Carlyle Europe Buyout fund with a price tag pegged at 1.28 billion euros.

Established brands in Italy are increasingly investing in supporting small and medium-sized companies to protect their craftsmanship and know-how — and often providing a future for the second- or third-generation owners and for their own pipeline.

On Tuesday, as reported, Fendi acquired a majority stake in knitwear specialist Maglificio Matisse, its first M&A deal. The company has been working with Fendi for more than 15 years as a key supplier in the knitwear category, as well as for other top luxury brands. Similarly, Brunello Cucinelli earlier this year bought a 43 percent stake of Cariaggi Lanificio SpA, its longtime cashmere supplier, and, in 2021, the Prada and Ermenegildo Zegna groups joined forces to acquire a majority stake in Filati Biagioli Modesto SpA, which specializes in the production of cashmere and other precious yarns.