Garmont International, the Italian brand of outdoor and technical footwear, is open for acquisitions in the apparel sector and other opportunities following the entry of a new majority shareholder. Italian Strategy Private Equity (ISPE), managed by Riello lnvestimenti Partners, has acquired a 65 percent stake in the company’s share capital. Headed up by Nicola Riello, the company is one of the investment vehicles of the wealthy Riello family, whose eponymous furnaces and boilers are sold around the world.

Pierangelo Bressan, who took over the company in 2014 along with a regional investment fund, will reduce his stake to 30 percent but will remain president and CEO. The remaining 5 percent will go to Terry Urio, who will continue as chief financial officer. The transaction, whose terms have not been disclosed, is expected to be completed by the end of March.

In 2018 Bressan had already brought in new minority investors, including Wayne Edy, the founder of Inov-8, to help develop the tactical business in the U.S. Edy sold back his shares in Garmont and its U.S. subsidiary last year and, as already reported in SGI Europe, took back full ownership of Inov-8 from Descente.

Noting that other potential investors had expressed interest in acquiring Garmont’s control, Bressan stressed in an interview that the company is doing well, in spite of Covid-19, and that it has sufficient liquidities to continue to grow internationally. It aims to double its business in the next four to five years. It is expected to return to growth in 2021, as the order book is higher now than at the end of 2019.

Garmont has grown strongly over the past several years except 2020. With a presence in 40 countries, Garmont saw non-consolidated sales decline by more than 15 percent to €14 million in 2020 because of the pandemic, but it still made a profit. Its sales in the U.S. remained stable at $11 million, following a reorganization of the business.

The U.S. subsidiary is fully owned by Garmont, and the business is run directly from Italy in real time by Davide Calcagnotto, a supply chain manager in the company who has implemented a major investment in a new ERP system.