Kering, the parent company of Gucci and many other luxury goods brands, had indicated for some time its intention to divest Sergio Rossi, an Italian brand of high-end women's shoes that has not been profitable for some time. Kering has finally announced an agreement to sell 100 percent of its capital to Investindustrial, a European group of investment companies led by an Italian financier, Andrea Bonomi, and specializing in Italian design.

Investindustrial currently has assets worth around €2.9 billion under its management. Three years ago it bought a 37.5 percent stake in Aston Martin, the British brand of sports cars. Its present holdings in Italy include Flos (designer lighting) and B&B Italia (furniture). It previously partnered in Italian success stories such as Ducati, Ruffino, Portaventura, Gardaland and Stroili. Another equity investment firm, Emerisque, was said to have been another candidate for the acquisition of Sergio Rossi.

The price negotiated for Sergio Rossi's takeover has not been disclosed. Some reports indicate that it should be close to €100 million, or just over one year's worth of sales. Others speak of a valuation of between €160 million and €200 million, but we think it was less than that, considering that Kering took a €52 million writeoffs on the investment in 2014. Kering bought Sergio Rossi in 1999 for the equivalent of about €92 million.

Sergio Rossi has 82 stores in Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. Most of them are directly operated, but some are franchises. The company has been run since last February by a new chief executive, Giovanni Giunchedi, but we were unable to find out whether he will continue to be in charge.