Philipp Plein indulged in his whim, so to speak, to find out how much his group was worth on the financial market. And then, after receiving a few months ago the offer of 750 million from a private equity fund, he declined: because for the German designer and entrepreneur devoting himself to his creature is more important than personal heritage. To tell this is Philipp Plein himself, whose group (which includes, in addition to the eponymous brand, also Billionaire and Philipp Plein Sport) in 2018 had a turnover of around 250 million euros.
“They asked me if I wanted to sell and at a certain point I asked them to make me an offer – Plein tells Corriere della Sera -: I was curious to know what could be the value of the group I had created from nothing. But I have never considered the idea of actually doing it”. Of course, 750 million are a quite impressive sum, but “it was not a question of money, I would not have accepted even for a higher sum: I wanted to keep the brand, money matters, but they are not everything in life”.
What does matter, then, to Plein? The passion for his brands: “I have a home, a car, a job that makes me happy and that takes all my time” he says: “I have no hobbies, I don’t play golf, my life is dedicated to a brand that I created 20 years ago”. The paternal opinion was important too, when making a choice: “I asked my father for advice and he told me: Do you need that money? Do you already know what you will do with that sum once you have it?”
Not just feelings. If Philipp Plein didn’t want to open up to a private equity fund, it is also to avoid changing the group’s governance, “which I want to manage in my own terms”. What does he mean? “A company is not a democracy – he says – it is a dictatorship: if I had given up the majority, I would have had to get to terms with others on my choices”. The same reason why negotiation for Cavalli did not succeed: “We did not reach an agreement because we were not ready to merge”.
Photo of Philipp Plein from world.philipp-plein.com