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Haeres Equita sole bidder for Borsalino

Lands iconic hat maker 'on provisional basis'

Haeres Equita sole bidder for Borsalino

Turin, July 12 - Private-equity firm Haeres Equita is the sole bidder for iconic and bankrupt Italian hat maker Borsalino, the bankruptcy lawyers said Thursday. Therefore, they said, the company has been handed to Haeres on a "provisional" basis. The luxury hat maker, which celebrated its 160th anniversary last year, went bankrupt in December. The company employs 135 workers. A court in Alessandria, where Borsalino is based, rejected a bankruptcy agreement request filed by Haeres Equita srl, the company owned by Swiss entrepreneur Philippe Camperio. In 2017 Camperio became the new majority stakeholder of the once family-owned Borsalino through Haeres Equita, a private equity investment company. The transaction was estimated at about 20 million euros, corresponding to Borsalino's debts. The hat maker was able to keep its production in Alessandria as a result and the company's activity continued with a forecast revenue this year of 17 million euros. Borsalino, whose hats have been donned by celebrities and Hollywood stars including Humphrey Bogart in 'Casablanca' and Alain Delon and Jean Paul Belmondo in 'Borsalino', was founded by the eponymous family in 1857. Despite a strong brand, the company lost millions of euros over the past few years, returning to profit only at the beginning of 2015, amid Italy's deep financial crisis and a scandal involving former majority owner Marco Marenco. Marenco was stripped of his powers in 2008 and arrested in 2015 over alleged bankruptcy and fraud.

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