Chinese textile major Shandong Ruyi has acquired a majority stake in Swiss luxury brand Bally for an undisclosed sum – its second major investment in the last three months.
Bally’s parent company, JAB Holding, will retain a minority interest in the company. JAB has been offloading a number of its luxury assets, including Jimmy Choo and Belstaff. Bally’s management team says it will reinvest alongside Shandong Ruyi Group.
The deal comes at a time of strong, continuous growth for Bally driven by all regions, notably Asia. Shandong Ruyi Group said it intends to “maintain the DNA and unique identity” of Bally, with its head office and main factory based in Caslano, Switzerland.
Yafu Qiu, chairman of Shandong, said of the deal: “Bally’s history and its products greatly complement our existing strength in ready-to-wear apparel. We are extremely excited to begin this new journey of Bally alongside JAB and the Bally management team. This is an important milestone for Shandong Ruyi Group in our enterprise to become a global leader in the fashion apparel sector. We look forward to supporting Bally in achieving its continued growth and enhancing its brand globally.”
The transaction remains subject to closing conditions including customary regulatory approvals.
The Chinese apparel giant, which owns Aquascutum and Gieves & Hawkes, has been on something of a spending spree in recent years. Last year it bought Invista’s Lycra business for US$2bn, and in 2016 acquired French group SMCP, whose fashion brands include Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot. In November, the company bought a majority stake in Israel-based tailored clothing manufacturer Bagir Group.
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