Zimmermann sisters sell fashion label in reported billion-dollar deal

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By Published On: August 10, 20230 Comments

Australian fashion label founded at Sydney’s Padding Markets over 30 years ago to sell at a possible $1.75bn valuation.

Private equity firm Advent International is set to acquire a majority shareholding in Australian fashion label Zimmermann in what may be the largest-ever Australian fashion brand valuation.

The acquisition will be made from former investors Style Capital, which purchased a 70 per cent stake in Zimmermann in 2020 in a transaction valuing the company at the time at $600 million.

Although Advent’s statement on the sale did not disclose the acquisition figure, the Australian Financial Review reported the number to be between $1.5bn to $1.75bn. Managing Partner at Advent, Ranjan Sen, describes the deal as “a rare and exciting opportunity to acquire a fast-growing iconic luxury fashion brand with significant potential for further expansion”.

Zimmermann has 58 stores in Australia, the United States, the UK, Europe and China, stocks clothing lines in retailers such as Harrods and David Jones, and sells directly from its ecommerce website.

Nicky and Simone Zimmermann founded the now-potentially billion-dollar brand in 1991 at the Paddington Markets in Sydney. Advent noted that following the sale, the sisters will retain their minority shareholdings and remain onboard, along with the Zimmermann management team, to continue driving growth.

CEO of Zimmermann Chris Olliver stated, “We welcome Advent as a successful global and like-minded investor. They bring proven experience supporting luxury brands in taking this next step and we are thrilled by the opportunity to work together.”

Advent explained that the investment will allow Zimmermann to accelerate international expansion, including Asia and the Middle East, expand product categories, and boost the company’s online and omnichannel presence.

Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder Nicky Zimmermann said, “We are really excited to partner with the teams at Advent and Style Capital as we continue on our journey to build a unique global luxury brand from Australia. There are so many exciting opportunities for Zimmermann ahead and Simone and I feel extremely fortunate to be going on this journey with our team, one that started nearly 30 years ago.”

The sale follows other notable Australian brand acquisitions this year, including the L’Oreal SA deal to acquire Melbourne-founded Aesop at a valuation of $US2.53bn ($AUD3.7bn) and the recent Bondi Sands cash deal with Japan’s Kao Corporation for an estimated $450 million.

About the Author: Allan O'Donnell

Allan O'Donnell, guest editor of Power Retail is an ecommerce fanatic, avid writer, and perceptive marketer. He is passionate about equipping online retailers with valuable information to optimise the end-to-end shopper experience and strengthen their brands.

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