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Samsonite packed off for $1.7bn

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Luxury luggage brand Samsonite has agreed to be bought by private equity firm CVC Capital for $1.7bn (£844m). It is learnt that the London-based private equity firm is looking to capitalise on the potential for Samsonite to grow in India and China.

Hardy McLain and Luigi Lanari of CVC commented: “We look forward to working with Marcello Bottoli and his team to realise the full potential of the brand. China and India present particularly interesting opportunities for growth.”

In India, Samsonite has a JV with Mumbai-based Tainwala Group. “We welcome this move and are delighted to learn that CVC is keen on Indian market. We offer full support in all its endeavours,” an official from Tainwala Group told Indiaretailing.

According to sources, Samsonite accounts for 32 per cent of the Rs 800-crore luggage industry in the country. At present, Samsonite operates over 170 retail outlets across India and four Black Label boutiques – two in Mumbai, one in Bangalore, and one in Secunderabad. While the company’s India business is Rs 250 crore, manufacturing and outsourcing order is to the tune of Rs 600 crore annually. The Samsonite plant at Nashik, which produces hard-shell luggage, has an annual capacity of 10 million units.

“We believe that this transaction delivers excellent value to all our shareholders. I am excited to continue our successful journey to create the world’s leading travel lifestyle brand together with CVC,” said Marcello Bottoli, CEO, Samsonite.

Under the terms of the all-cash agreement, CVC will pay $1.49 a share – a 12 per cent premium to the firm’s closing share price on Tuesday, according to British media reports.

The deal must be cleared by regulatory authorities in the United States and Europe, and CVC expects the acquisition to be completed in the final quarter of this year.

Globally, there are over 1,400 Samsonite retail outlets.

– Vishnu Rageev R, Bangalore Bureau

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