Temasek takes stake in Italian fashion company

Temasek said yesterday it has invested in Italian luxury company Moncler, the high-end outerwear and apparel maker famous for its expensive padded jackets.

"We are pleased to gain exposure to Moncler, a company with a longstanding legacy and whose products are regarded for their quality and innovation," said Temasek's senior managing director for Europe Luigi Feola.

Moncler, established in 1952 in France, operates in over 70 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas through a network of mono-brand stores and major exclusive luxury department and multi-brand stores.

The company has a boutique at Ion Orchard which opened last year. Each of its padded jackets goes for a few thousand dollars.

For Temasek, the deal is its first significant investment in an Italian company.

"Italy is home to leading consumer and industrial businesses that have considerable export and international growth potential," Temasek's Europe head Tan Chong Lee said.

Europe has become increasingly important to Temasek as it looks to alternative markets to boost its returns. In 2014, Temasek, which had a portfolio of $242 billion as at March 31, set up a new office in London.

"Europe represents 8 per cent of Temasek's global portfolio exposure and we continue to look for opportunities to participate in the growth of sectors and companies that fit our investment themes," Mr Tan said in January this year.

Temasek sees opportunities in leading European companies that are looking to expand and diversify their export markets to growth economies in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

This would include consumer companies, where there is strong appeal around their brands in markets such as China.

The investment is via acquisition of an equity stake in a newly incorporated investment company from Ruffini Partecipazioni (RP) - a controlling shareholder in Moncler.

In May, Temasek was among investors that pumped US$110 million (S$150 million) into London-based start-up venture Farfetch, which sells clothing online for high-end boutiques. Farfetch was planning to use the fresh capital to expand in the Asia-Pacific region.

This article was first published on July 29, 2016.
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