Bruno Magli reported at the end of last October that its parent company, Fortelus Capital, has entered into exclusive negotiations to sell 100 percent of its shares to a consortium of Asian investors that includes E-Land and CDIB Capital. The transaction may be completed before the end of this month.

E-Land is a big Korean conglomerate, with sales equivalent to about US$8 billion in 2012. It has bought many other Italian companies in the last few years including Lario 1898, Sutor Mantellassi, Lorenzo Banfi, Nebuloni, Belfe, Mandarina Duck and Coccinelle. It bought most recently K-Swiss, a big American brand of sports shoes that also owns Palladium and OTZ, and it made an unsuccessful bid for Collective Brands, parent company of Stride Rite, Keds and other brands.

CDIB is a leading Asian private equity investor focused on middle-market transactions. Headquartered in Hong Kong and affiliated with China Development Financial, it is one of the oldest and largest merchant banking groups in Greater China.

Based in the U.K., Fortelus bought a controlling stake in Bruno Magli in 2007 from an Italian private equity fund, Opera. It appointed a new management in 2012, headed up by Armin Müller, that has implemented many important changes at the company in a bid to make it profitable again and to raise its sales, which reached a level of around €50 million in 2012. As we have already reported (see our electronic archives), it closed down Bruno Magli's factory in Bologna and appointed many new managers including a new creative director, Kim Kibardin.