Coronavirus emergency has been changing, rather suddenly indeed, the luxury groups’ supply (and production) organization. For sure, it has been spoiling the Japanese plans set by Onward Holdings, which has sold OLG to an Italian business. The Japanese holding company currently includes, in its own brand portfolio, Chloé, Michael Kors Collection and Jil Sander, among others. Following the latest divestiture deal, they have sold all Onward Luxury Group Spa (OLG) shares to NEMO, an Italian investment enterprise (OLG, which also owned Iris Sud, a shoe-making factory based in Apulia, was its operating arm, as a matter of fact). Still, they have not made public – as reported by a few Japanese websites and announced in a press release by ICE – the transaction amount.
The Japanese plans
Onward Holdings had to sell Onward Luxury Group, its Italian operational arm, because of missed profitability and financial loss. In February 2020, OLG revenues from sales amounted to 125 million euros as operating loss reached 14.8 million euros and net loss reached 13.5 million euros. In July 2020, Fabio Ducci, OLG Chief Executive Officer, set some specific plans to overcome the difficult situation caused by Covid-19 overall emergency. More than likely, he will keep pursuing this line: in fact, he will be the president of the new company established together with Franco Pené (appointed as vice-president) and new Chief Executive Officer Antonello Orunesu Preiata.
New strategies in Italy
Likewise, NEMO has also taken over the shares held by OLG Inc. (USA), OLG Sarl. (France) and Green Iris Kft. (Hungary). In Italy, the same company, whose name will be HIM (High Italian Manufacturing), has also bought out, from Onward Holdings, OLG Lab, Maglificio Erika, Frassinetti and Iris Sud, which is a Salento shoe-making factory founded in 1995 and created by Giuseppe Baiardo. “The customer portfolio has remained the same and all Italian manufacturing plants will keep running. We are not planning any relocation – pointed out Preiata while talking to the Nuovo Quotidiano di Puglia –. Likewise, considering its strategic importance, we are not going to move anywhere our Iris Sud factory, based in Casarano”. We wonder about any possible repercussions, in the future, on the 80 employees. This is going to be one more mystery for 2021.