A Turkish group, Ziylan, is in talks to take over the Lumberjack brand owned by the Italian group 3A Antonini. An announcement regarding the outcome of the negotiations is expected as soon as next week.

Aykut Büyükeksi, a board member of Ziylan, told the English edition of the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet that a deal has practically been struck and could be finalized by the end of the month. 3A Antonini said that it was “surprised” by the comments. However, it admitted that talks are still under way, without giving details about its contents, and reserved the right to wait until next week before giving any further information.

Ziylan has been in talks for six months with 3A Antonini to acquire the brand, according to Büyükek?i. Ziylan already has the rights to produce and distribute Lumberjack in Turkey starting with the 2012 fall/winter collection. The company is currently holding meetings with its sales teams to define production levels for the brand. Manufacturing is scheduled to start in a couple of months' time.

The brand could be sold through the group's Flo chain of shoe shops, which sell models under its own name as well as other brands. Ziylan has another footwear chain called Polaris, specializing in women's item. The chain mainly markets Polaris shoes but also sells other brands. Both chains have more than 100 stores. Ziylan, which claims a production capacity of more than 2.5 million pairs a year, also works with third-party retailers.

Büyükeksi told Hürriyet that Ziylan is in talks to buy a famous sneaker brand and that the group aims to acquire additional brands in the near future. The group is investing in brands to help it expand outside Turkey.

Muhammed Yah?i, secretary general of the Turkish shoe industry association, TASD, noted that local manufacturers have large capacities but are lacking global quality brands, so they are keen to buy them, especially in Europe.

In 2010, Lumberjack totaled sales of €31 million, representing the bulk of the 3A Antonini group's revenues of €35 million. For 2011, the management had forecast revenues of €38-40 million, but the company still has to release final figures.

Much of the recent growth has been the result of huge investments in advertising, promotion and the opening of single-brand stores.