A Chinese leathergoods group, Sitoy, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the acquisition of an Italian high-end brand of men's and women's shoes, A.Testoni, from the founding family. No financial details were available.

The move follows bigger transactions that have come from the Far East recently, such as the acquisition of Bally by Shandong Ruyi and Lanvin by Fosun.

Sitoy, a Hong Kong-based company listed on the local stock exchange, has already been a successful partner for development of A.Testoni in Continental China. As part of an ambitious retail expansion program, it already opened three stores for the brand in Chongqing and Shanghai last March.

Founded in 1968 and run by Michael Yueng Wah Keung, Sitoy is primarily a producer of handbags, other leathergoods and travel goods running several factories. It wants now to boost its retail and brand management operations as part of a vertical integration strategy.

Better known in our sector, A.Testoni was created in 1929 by Amedeo Testoni with a small store in the city of Bologna. The company is currently owned by Amedeo Testoni's daughter Marina and her husband Enzo Fini, who is also chairman of the company.

The company now has about 230 employees, 75 of whom are working in the head office at Funo di Argelato, in the northern outskirts of Bologna. A.Testoni has showrooms in Milan, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul and 40 directly-operated stores around the world, in addition to select distribution through multi-brand retailers. In 2017, the company had sales of €30 million, of which 85 percent were achieved outside Italy.

A.Testoni's chief executive, Bruno Fantechi, explained that the family decided to sell for personal reasons, while acknowledging the need of large investments to develop the brand worldwide and to transform its business model.