Minerva Hub, Italy’s newly created luxury production consortium
At a time when luxury industry giants are busy snapping up Italy’s most advanced manufacturers and workshops, and many of the sector's highly specialized SMEs are clustering together, a new centre of excellence for Italian luxury goods manufacturing has recently been created. The new consortium, called Minerva Hub, has invested nearly €100 million in a project focused on producing and enhancing sophisticated materials for very high-end luxury products. Minerva Hub brings together six top-notch artisanal manufacturers operating a dozen production sites. It employs 434 people and has an aggregate revenue of €101 million.
Minerva Hub was created in March 2022, the result of a merger between two Italian investment funds: the Xenon fund, through its holding company XPP Seven, which has incorporated four companies since 2019 and holds a 51% stake in Minerva Hub; and Ambria Holding, born from the acquisition of two luxury materials specialists and headed by Matteo Marzotto. The latter is the heir to a renowned Italian textile dynasty, and has a 30-year experience in the luxury sector. He has notably been involved in the relaunch of Valentino, Madeleine Vionnet and Dondup. Marzotto’s holding company Ambria has a 22% stake in Minerva Hub. The remaining stakes are held by the owners and managers of the six companies which together form Minerva Hub.
“This is a merger through an exchange of shares. The companies have all been acquired in full, and part of the acquisitions’ proceeds was re-injected into Minerva Hub. As an investment fund, we act as a catalyst, facilitating connections and creating synergies between our various companies. We also enable them to rely on an organisation that will make them stronger and more integrated, and which will become a single, more robust and authoritative contact point for their clients,” said Franco Prestigiacomo, co-founder and CEO of the Xenon investment fund, speaking at a press conference.
“Our clients are mostly major luxury houses, especially French ones. Many of them already rely on some of our companies as suppliers. Instead of talking to six different people, they will now deal with only one. We will be able to inform them about our different specialisations, offering them integrated solutions via a broader partnership. Similarly, we are working on joint industrial projects between some of our companies, to diversify the range of products we offer,” said Prestigiacomo.
“We are keen to aggregate highly sophisticated manufacturers, focusing on specialised finishings. We are considering three other potential acquisitions, as we aim to vertically strengthen our six areas of expertise,” said Marzotto, who has been named president of Minerva Hub. The consortium is headquartered in Milan and will be managed by CEO Marco Casoni, a close collaborator of Marzotto, the same role he previously held at Dondup. Angelo Ramponi will be the CFO, the same position he had at XPP Seven.
The four companies acquired by XPP Seven are active in different niche sectors: Quake, in Veneto, in industrial embroidery and appliqué; Koverlux, located in Bergamo, Lombardy, in fashion accessories enhancement via dyeing, laser finishings and other processes; SP Plast, based in the Marche region, in plastics transformation; while Zuma, located in Tuscany near Pisa, is a tannery specialized in exotic skins. Zeta Catene and Galvanica Formelli, the companies coming to Minerva Hub from Ambria Holding, are both engaged in metal chain production and are located in Arezzo, Tuscany.
A number of manufacturing excellence centres have been created in Italy in recent years. In 2020, investment funds VAM Investments, Fondo Italiano d’Investimento and Italmobiliare set up Gruppo Florence, hailing it as “the leading manufacturing hub for luxury apparel in Italy.” Similarly, Turin-based Holding Industriale (Hind), through its subsidiary Holding Moda, has combined together seven Italian manufacturers specialising in knitwear, leather goods, footwear and apparel, while Milan-based High Italian Manufacturing Co. brings together a number of producers and small labels in the luxury and designer segments.
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