Scandi cool men’s and women’s label Acne Studios quelled rumors about an acquisition Sunday, announcing it has sold minority stakes to two groups.
The Stockholm-based company’s new shareholders are IDG Capital, an international investment firm that invested in more than 750 companies including Farfetch, Moncler and Flipkart, and I.T Group, a Hong Kong-based company known for its expertise in modern fashion and luxury retail.
IDG Capital will acquire 30.1 percent and I.T 10.9 percent of the company. The sellers are Öresund, Creades and PAN Capital, which jointly own the part of Acne Studios that was bought by Öresund in 2006.
Acne Studios chairman Mikael Schiller and creative director Jonny Johansson will continue to hold a majority of the company’s shares after reducing their holdings.
The company was reportedly preparing for a sale earlier this year and enlisted Goldman Sachs to hold informal meetings with potential buyers.
“This is a dream scenario for us. Jonny and I are excited to join forces with new partners who we know well and who will bring further expertise for our continued journey,” said Acne Studios chairman Mikael Schiller. “We look forward to collaborating with IDG Capital and I.T. Acne Studios will greatly benefit from their extensive know-how within fashion and the rapidly evolving universe of online and offline retail. By working together, we will make Acne Studios even more successful.”
I.T Group has been instrumental in Acne Studios’ growth in Asia. The firm, which operates multi-brand retailers including Dover Street Market Beijing and Galeries Lafayette Beijing, introduced the brand to Asian consumers in the early 2000s.
“Acne Studios began as a niche brand and has evolved into a global fashion phenomenon with a unique point of view,” said Sham Kar Wai, founder and CEO of I.T Group. “In our 15-year partnership, we have developed a strong kinship through shared thoughts on fashion, retail and entrepreneurship at large. We cannot wait to start the next chapter of this collaboration.”
Acne Studios was founded in 1996 as a creative collective and has since developed into a fashion house with more than 50 retail stores across the world and annual revenues exceeding 200 million euros ($229 million). The brand’s minimalistic approach to menswear and womenswear has struck a chord with the current market for functional-meets-luxury streetwear, as well as its dedicated denim collection, Acne Studios Blå Konst, which launched in 2017.
“We are pleased to join Jonny, Mikael and the Acne Studios team in this exciting new stage of development of the brand. Acne Studios is a pioneer in fashion and in using technology, which allowed the brand to build a global fan base. We are particularly excited about the growth of the brand and the many steps Acne Studios is taking towards realizing its full potential,” said Alexandre Quirici, partner at IDG Capital.