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Italy’s OTB Plans New Acquisitions Following 2018 Reset

Italian fashion group OTB (Only the Brave) already owns a number of European brands, including Maison Margiela, Marni, Diesel and Viktor&Rolf. And over the next year, OTB plans to expand its portfolio and invest 200 million euros ($226 million), according to Reuters.

In a statement Monday, OTB nodded at potential acquisitions of other brands, thanks to a strong financial performance in 2018.

The group reported a drop in revenues and margins last year, in part due to the hindered performance of its denim label Diesel. Last year, Diesel filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States, citing failed growth strategies by former management and high overhead costs. Diesel’s weak performance had an impact on OTB’s consolidated sales, which fell 3.2 percent.

In spite of that news, OTB said its net financial position strengthened by 32 percent to 111 million euros. All other brands in the company’s portfolio posted a growing turnover, according to the company. OTB’s core profit slipped 21 percent to 41.5 million euros ($46.8 million). Net equity stands at 885 million euros ($998.8 million).

OTB chief executive Ubaldo Minelli has been vocal about the company’s plans to shift its business goals, last year characterizing its activities as “voluntary resetting.”

“Our net equity and current financial position will allow us to continue to explore new opportunities,” Minelli said in a statement. OTB has successfully folded other mid- and luxury-tier brands into its portfolio; the company took a controlling stake of luxury accessory brand Paula Cademartori in 2016.

In a statement in 2018, OTB said the designer segment and its manufacturing companies were performing well, and posted “an overall positive trend and a growing turnover.”

The company has shown an interest in brands including Roberto Cavalli, which has an existing connection to OTB–Just Cavalli has a licensing partnership with OTB’s Staff International. Representatives from Cavalli announced in March that the brand would shutter its North American stores while negotiating with creditors.