• Italian family’s history with German clothier dates to 1991
  • Investment shows that Marzottos support turnaround: Analyst

Italy’s Marzotto family increased its stake in Hugo Boss AG, showing confidence that new Chief Executive Officer Mark Langer can turn around the struggling German clothier.

The family’s Zignago Holding boosted its investment to 10.1 percent as of June 3, according to a regulatory filing Monday. It acquired about 7 percent of Boss when Permira Holdings Ltd. sold a stake in February 2015.

The Marzotto family’s history with Hugo Boss dates back to 1991, when it first acquired the clothier. The family was a key investor in Valentino Fashion Group SpA when that company owned the suitmaker. In 2012, Valentino was acquired by a group of Qatari investors, a deal that didn’t include Hugo Boss. Gaetano Marzotto and Luca Marzotto -- descendants of patriarch Luigi Marzotto, who founded a wool mill in 1836 -- sit on Hugo Boss’s supervisory board. 

“They owned Hugo Boss between 1991 and 2007 and Valentino from 2003 to 2007, so they know the German group pretty well,” said Cedric Rossi, an analyst at Bryan Garnier & Co. “It just shows that they fully support the turnaround strategy and believe that at this price, it is a good entry point.”

The German company last month promoted finance chief Langer to the CEO role to lead a turnaround effort. Langer, who joined 13 years ago and became chief financial officer in 2010, will seek to bring stability to business that last month reported the biggest decline in quarterly profit in at least six years.

Hugo Boss shares fell 0.5 percent to 53.33 euros at 5:27 p.m. in Frankfurt.

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