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Investindustrial studies sale of luxury shoemaker Sergio Rossi, says source

MILAN, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Italian private equity firm Investindustrial is working with Rothschild as an adviser to study a possible sale of luxury shoemaker Sergio Rossi, one source close to the matter said on Tuesday.

Famous for the craftsmanship behind its shoes, which can sell for 600 euros ($728) a pair, Sergio Rossi, like other brands that rose to fame in post-war Italy, has struggled to keep up with evolving fashion trends.

At the same time, the luxury goods industry is grappling with the hit from the global health emergency that has shut stores, shrunk demand and exposed the industry’s reliance on Chinese tourists.

The source, who declined to be named because the matter is private, said the process of evaluating a sale had just started and would take quite some time. Rothschild declined to comment.

Investindustrial has been working on relaunching the brand after acquiring it in 2015 from French luxury goods group Kering . Kering-owned Gucci had bought the family-owned firm in 1999 but struggled to turn it around.

The shoe sector has attracted investor interest. Private equity firm CVC is in talks to buy sandals maker Birkenstock, media reports have said and the owners of Dr. Martens aim to raise close to 1.3 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) from a London listing.

Sergio Rossi reported 66.5 million euros in revenues in 2019 and a net loss of 15.8 million, based on data filed with the local chamber of commerce in the Emilia Romagna region, where the company is based.

Industry publication WWD first reported news of a potential Sergio Rossi sale. ($1 = 0.8239 euros) (Reporting by Elisa Anzolin, editing by Valentina Za and Barbara Lewis)

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