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Family Business Roundup: Malacalza Investimenti, Benetton, and Van de Velde

Malacalza family becomes top investor in Italy’s Carige; Benetton launches global living wage scheme; and Van de Velde sees core profit rise

Malacalza family becomes top investor in Italy’s Carige

Malacalza Investimenti, the Italian holding company headed by entrepreneur Vittorio Malacalza, has this week agreed to buy a 10.5% stake in troubled lender Banca Carige for €66.2 million ($73.6 million).

The deal makes Malacalza Investimenti the largest investor in Banca Carige, which recently failed a health check of lenders across the Eurozone and needs to raise €700 million in order to plug a capital shortfall.

Shares at the bank rose nearly 10% following news of the deal. However, the Italian Treasury and the Bank of Italy need to approve the contract before May 5.

Malacalza Investimenti chairman Vittorio Malacalza told Italian daily La Stampa on Monday that he did not rule out increasing the stake in Genoa-based Carige to 24%.

Banca Carige is the largest bank in Liguria and one of the main banks in Italy. It was founded in 1483.

Benetton launches global living wage scheme

Italian clothing empire Benetton is extending its partnership with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality in a bid to address wage inequality in the textile industry.

The collaboration will focus on achieving a living wage for women working in the textile and garment supply chain and will be rolled out incrementally to countries of “common interest”.

Benetton also revealed that it will pay in to the Bangladesh Rana Plaza Trust fund – set up in the wake of a factory building collapse in 2012 – after more than 1 million people signed a petition on the campaigning website Avaaz calling on it to pay up. It is the last retailer connected to the disaster, which killed more than 1,100 factory workers, to sign up to the compensation scheme.

The company, which was taken private in 2012 after the family bought 25% of outstanding shares for €210 million, will work with “an independent and globally recognised partner” in order to work out “fair compensation”.

Benetton was founded in 1965 by Luciano Benetton and his siblings Giuliana, Gilberto, and Carlo. The half-a-century old company posted revenues of €1.82 billion in 2012, but is thought to have experienced a loss of €66 million the following year.

Van de Velde sees core profit rise

Fourth-generation Belgian lingerie maker Van de Velde has seen turnover rise 8.7% to €198.4 million, in its 2014 results, released at the end of February. Its core profit has risen 18.6% to €57.7 million.

The company saw strong retail turnover in Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK, growth it expects to continue into the first half of 2015. It attributed its 9.6% rise in the wholesale division to the “very successful” launch of PrimaDonna Swim.

The company is majority owned by the van de Velde and Laureys families, with Lucas Laureys acting as chairman of the board. 

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