US private equity firm Advent International has bought a majority stake in womenswear label Zimmermann, setting a new bar in the Australian fashion industry with the $1.5 billion acquisition.
In a statement about the record-breaking deal, Managing Partner at Advent International Ranjan Sen said that “Zimmermann presents a rare and exciting opportunity to acquire a fast-growing iconic luxury fashion brand with significant potential for further expansion”.
Zimmerman was founded nearly 30 years ago by sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmerman. It began as a humble stall at the Paddington markets.
Since then, the business has grown significantly.
The label has been featured in New York and Paris Fashion Week. The 2024 spring/summer collection is set to be shown in Paris this September.
Private equity firm Style Capital bought a 70% stake in the company three years ago for a reported $408 million.
This saw increasing international expansion for the brand, and today there are 58 Zimmermann stores worldwide.
Now, the sale to Advent is expected to see a further pursuit of this global domination. The private equity firm have suggested a particular focus on markets in Asia and the Middle East.
Style Capital and the Zimmermann sisters will retain a minority shareholder position following the sale to Advent.
Advent International is one of the largest independent private equity firms. They boast approximately $US95 billion assets under management, and previous investments include activewear giant Lululemon, and beauty retailer Douglas and Parfums de Marly.
According to a statement announcing the sale, the Zimmerman sisters will “continue to drive the brand’s future growth”.
Nicky is currently the creative director of the brand, with sister Simone as Chief Operating Officer.
Nicky’s husband and CEO of Zimmermann, Chris Olliver, said in a statement that Advent brings “proven experience supporting luxury brands in taking this next step and we are thrilled by the opportunity to work together.”
“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 at Paddington Markets in Sydney,” Nicky said.
“The opportunity to work alongside so many talented and passionate people each day is a privilege and there is so much we want to achieve together.”