Design Holding announces strong growth in 2021 and acquires Designers Company – WWD

MILAN — Design Holding ended 2021 on a high note, calling it a “record year”, and revealed on Thursday that it had signed an agreement to acquire Danish Designers Company, which includes brands such as Menu and By Lassen.

Founded in November 2018, Design Holding, present in more than 90 countries, includes design, furniture and lighting brands B&B Italia, Flos, Louis Poulsen, Arclines, Maxalto and Azucena.

Last year, Design Holding signed a joint venture with Fendi to form Fashion Furniture Design, or FF Design, to grow the Fendi Casa business. The line was previously produced and distributed by licensee Luxury Living, operating through Club House Italia. FF Design has invested in the evolution and expansion of Fendi Casa, which this month opened its first flagship in Milan, as noted.

In June 2021, Design Holding, jointly controlled by Investindustrial and The Carlyle Group, acquired YDesign Group LLC, America’s leading online retailer of high-end, modern lighting and home furnishings.

During the 12-month period ended December 31, including the acquisition of YDesign, Proforma revenue increased by 21.1% to 700.3 million euros compared to 2020.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 27.7% to 190.3 million euros, or 27.2% on revenue.

Operating profit increased by 33% to 151.8 million euros, representing a 21.7% margin on revenues.

The group generated 142 million euros in cash.

Last year he got more than 100 million euros in high-end projects in the hotel, residential, business and retail sectors, in particular with the Bulgari hotel and the Bourse de Commerce in Paris.

“Design Holding’s performance in 2021 is a testament to the quality of our brands and the benefits of our portfolio approach,” said Daniel Lalonde, who was appointed group chief executive last October. “The acquisition of Designers Company, an icon of Nordic design, is also an exciting step in our growth and a perfect fit for us. The company’s products are highly complementary to Design Holding’s existing portfolio, while adding additional skills, including accessories.

Lalonde previously spent 10 years at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton as Chairman and CEO of LVMH Watches & Jewelry North America, Louis Vuitton in North America, and Moët & Chandon and Dom Pérignon worldwide. He also held positions at Ralph Lauren and, before Design Holding, was CEO of French fashion group SMCP, owner of Sandro and Maje.

The acquisition of Designers Company will enable Design Holding to strengthen its position in the Nordic design space, expand its product offering and reach a wider customer base including a younger generation.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Designers Company was born from the acquisition of Menu, a Copenhagen-based company founded in 1978 and producing furniture, accessories and lighting products, before developing a heritage collection via the acquisition of design company By Lassen . In addition to these brands, the company owns all rights to a portfolio of products created by historic designers such as Ib Kofod-Larsen, Arthur Umanoff, Mogens Lassen and Flemming Lassen, as well as Vilhem Lauritzen. Today, Designers Company has an archive of over 2,000 heritage products and has a strong e-commerce presence.

Designers Company is led by CEO Danny Feltmann, who previously held senior roles at Bang & Olufsen and H&M, and design director Joachim Engell-Hansen.

Looks from the Menu brand
image courtesy of Design Holding

Like we look to the future, our goal is clear: to be the global leader in high-end design, with an unparalleled portfolio of complementary brands, reaching designers/architects and end consumers through a multi-channel approach,” Lalonde said in a statement.. To this end, the group fthe strategy on our part includes “increasing brand desirability by making our brands more attractive, better known and sought after”; increase its direct-to-consumer business; evolve brands’ websites and in-store experience, while “refining” its wholesale channel experience; expand its international business with a focus on Greater China and North America, and further develop its premium contract business, “to enable our brands to work together more often in hospitality, residential, business and retail.

Last year, the group launched the Flos e-commerce sites in Europe, and boosted the reputation of the B&B Italia brand on social networks.

Design Holding continued to prioritize ESG initiatives, achieving carbon neutrality by 2020 on Scopes 1 and 2 and implementing circular economy principles across all brands including B&B Italia, FLOS and Louis Poulsen. Lalonde said the group “ambitious program will be underpinned by sustainability and continued investment in our people across the business. I am confident and excited about the opportunities for the company in the months and years to come. »

Last year, Design Holding launched a series of new highlights, including Jasper Morrison’s Oplight lamp; the Allure O’ table and the Flair O’ chair by Monica Armani; the Moonsetter lamp by Anne Boysen and the Thea kitchen by Antonio Citterio.

Daniel Lalonde

Daniel Lalonde
courtesy of Design Holding

About the author