The Italian holding company Sutor, formerly known as Holding del Lusso Italiano, has acquired Lario 1898, a women’s shoe brand, and it now has its sights set on Tanino Crisci, another Italian brand of high-end men’s and women’s footwear near Pavia.

Sutor already owns stakes in Mantellassi, a men’s shoe company in Florence, and Lorenzo Banfi, a women’s footwear company in Parabiago. The company bought the former Sutor Mantellassi in 2006 and Banfi in 2008.

Lario was previously owned by the Saibene family, which founded it at Cirimido near Como in 1898. To finance its relaunch, Sutor is considering bringing in new investors to recapitalize the shoe maker. It is seeking a location in Milan to open a store under this brand. Lario already has several stores in France, where it trades through its own subsidiary.

Supported by the Camelot investment fund until last year, Sutor is now controlled at 51 percent by three individuals who run the company: Massimiliano Sandri, its chairman; Carmelo Pistone, its chief executive; and Cristiano Ottonelli, the finance director. They are now supported by various financial partners including Roberto Carbognin, the owner of Fireco.

Sutor wants to aggregate and relaunch a group of shoe and leathergoods labels, following on from its ownership of Mantellassi and Banfi. The group now has 170 employees and 15 directly managed stores. It had a turnover of €21 million in 2008, generating operating income of €3 million before amortization (Ebitda), and it should grow to €30 million in 2009. This would exclude Tanino Crisci's sales, which are reported to have fallen to €7 million, generating a loss at €2 million.