Orlando Italy buys Sergio Tacchini ahead of debut fund close

Orlando Italy, an offshoot of the German turnaround specialist set to close a debut €200 million fund, has bought troubled Italian sports label Sergio Tacchini.

Orlando Italy, a new private equity firm focusing on special situations, has completed its first deal, snapping up Italian sportswear label Sergio Tacchini as it prepares to close its first fund.

A banking source told PEO that Orlando Italy finalised a deal for Sergio Tacchini earlier today – its first acquisition from its debut fund.

It will be looking to restore the fortunes of the ailing sportswear label, which is currently saddled with €80 million ($104 million) debt. The company’s turnover slipped to just €104 million in 2005, as it continued to lose ground on the likes of Nike, Adidas and Reebok – a far cry from the 1980s, where the firm was growing at 10 percent and sponsoring some of the world’s biggest sports stars.

The news comes just ahead of the final close on Orlando Italy’s first fund. The firm was targeting €150 million for the fund, but a source close to the firm said it had raised “well over” that figure. It is currently finalising terms with its last investor, and depending on the size of that commitment, the fund is expected to reach €190-€200 million.

Orlando Italy is an affiliate of Orlando Management, a German-based turnaround fund. The four principals are Gianni Mion, a well-known figure in the Italian business world from his time at Benetton, Pierdomenico Gallo, the founder of Meliorbanca, turnaround specialist Enrico Ceccato, and ex-banker Paolo Scarlatti.

Although the fund will be run completely independently from its German counterpart, to reflect the differences between the two markets, the firms will share knowledge and contacts.