Remo Ruffini is very open: he evaluated whether selling Moncler and got in contact with some investors. When the interviewer points out there were rumors of talks with other groups such as Kering, Burberry and Ferragamo, the entrepreneur admits he “got in touch with numerous people”. Moncler was at a crossroad, as it had 2 options to continue growing: joining a large group or building a new one. After having done some thinking, Mr. Ruffini decided to invest over 1 billion euro to acquire Stone Island (on the left is a leather design by the brand, picture from stoneisland.com). “Many had claimed – he says to L’Economia de Il Corriere della Sera -, that I had to be the one to create a luxury group. But they meant a traditional luxury group, which is not what I have in mind”.
There were two important aspects considered for the Stone Island operation. One, the need or ambition to fuel the growth plan of the brand. “I had been looking for a way to create value for Moncler, and I never hid it”, says Mr. Ruffini. Two, the financial status that made an acquisition possible and manageable. “The market pushed Moncler to acquire something – he continues -. The claim was that the company had t much cash on hand, and it was inefficient to keep it”. Didn’t mean that these two parameters would automatically indicate an acquisition: it could have been a sale. “I always said honestly that I was talking with different people and even competitors – reminds the entrepreneur-. I either made the call or answered it. I talked with many interesting people, but that’s the past, and I think that we made the right choice today”.
A (different) luxury group
Mr. Ruffini explained he has no intention of going after markets that are already saturated. On the contrary, his group will focus on identifying areas where one may be more autonomous, as even Louis Vuitton and Gucci have entered casual wear. “I tried to find an alternative positioning in the last 3 years, as I felt that luxury, as we always imagined it, lacked energy – he concluded -. I created Genius. And at that point, I looked for another business, another brand that was close to young consumers and that could communicate well with them”.
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