FB News

FB Roundup: Michael Kors, Carl DeSantis, Theo Albrecht Jr.

FB Roundup: Michael Kors, Carl DeSantis, Theo Albrecht Jr.
In this week’s FB Roundup, Michael Kors’ Capri Holdings is sold in an $8.5 billion deal; tributes are paid to energy drink billionaire Carl DeSantis; and the Albrecht family are to expand Aldi into the US market with 400 new stores.
By Glen Ferris
Michael Kors

Michael Kors’ Capri Holdings to be taken over in $8.5 billion deal
Capri Holdings, the multinational fashion holding company founded by American designer Michael Kors, has been sold to luxury goods group Tapestry in a deal worth $8.5 billion.

The deal, which sees Versace, Jimmy Choo and Kors’ own range joining Tapestry’s portfolio of brands (which includes high-end fashion houses such as Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman), will create an American luxury fashion conglomerate that aims to rival such big names as LVMH and Kering.

“[The acquisition] creates a new powerful global luxury house, unlocking a unique opportunity to drive enhanced value for our consumers, employees, communities and shareholders around the world,” said Tapestry chief executive Joanne Crevoiserat in a statement. 

“It’s creating a major American fashion conglomerate especially in the premium fashion space,” said Louise Deglise-Favre, apparel analyst at the analytics company GlobalData, in an interview with the BBC. “It's not as big as the likes of European giants such as LVMH and Kering, but even so it's definitely giving its brands more of a leg to stand on.”

The acquisition of Capri Holdings, which has more than 550 stores and over 1,500 in-store boutiques, will help expand Tapestry’s global operations across 75 countries. However, the new combined fashion house will still be much smaller than Bernard Arnault’s LVMH, which counts Louis Vuitton and Dior among its 75 brand-strong portfolio.

In July 2017, Michael Kors’ MKH Ltd bought Jimmy Choo Ltd for £897 million, before announcing a deal in September 2018 to take over Versace for $2.1 billion. In January 2019, after closing the Versace deal, the company was renamed Capri Holdings.

According to The Guardian, “Tapestry is paying Capri shareholders $57 per share in cash, representing a premium of nearly 65%. After the deal was announced, Tapestry shares fell 8%, while Capri shares were trading at $54.90.”

“By joining with Tapestry, we will have greater resources and capabilities to accelerate the expansion of our global reach while preserving the unique DNA of our brands,” said Capri Holdings’ chief executive officer John Idol in a statement.

Carl DeSantis

Tributes paid to energy drink billionaire Carl DeSantis 
Carl DeSantis, the American billionaire who founded the Rexall Sundown vitamin company and successfully backed the Celsius energy drink brand, has died at the age of 84.

As profiled in Forbes, DeSantis was a serial entrepreneur with interests in “everything from real estate and restaurants to a 50,000-acre ecotourism reserve in South Africa, a hot sauce brand and his own necktie collection. Forbes estimated his net worth to be $3.4 billion.”

DeSantis’ greatest career success came in 2021, after Celsius’ shares rocketed by 1,000% as the brand found its place in the highly competitive energy drink market. The investment nearly tripled DeSantis’ wealth.

“We call it a 12-year overnight success story,” said Jeff Perlman, executive vice president at DeSantis’ family office, CDS International Holdings, in an interview with Forbes. “He from the very beginning saw the potential of the brand and never wavered in the conviction that given enough time and enough resources and smart investment, that it would catch on.”

“Born in Boston and raised in south Florida, DeSantis attended college at FSU in Tallahassee and returned to Miami where he began his career managing retail drug stores before becoming an enthusiastic and optimistic entrepreneur at a young age,” read a tribute by DeSantis’ family. ”He had a strong work ethic and boundless energy, starting and nurturing many successful businesses over the years. He was also a generous philanthropist, contributing to many educational, spiritual, and cultural organisations and institutions.”

DeSantis is survived by three children, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Theo Albrecht Jr.

Albrecht family to expand Aldi into US market with 400 new stores
Having settled a long-running feud with a new ownership structure earlier this year, the Aldi-owning Albrecht family are expanding into the US market having bought 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys grocery stores in the American South.

The deal, which is thought to be part of a larger plan to expand the budget supermarket chain’s US reach, sees founder Theo Albrecht’s inheritors Theo Albrecht Jr [pictured above] and the family of Berthold Albrecht (Theo Albrecht Sr’s late son, who passed away in 2012, two years after his father’s death), acquiring sites in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

“This acquisition provides us speed to market with quality retail locations, great people and a solid core business in a region of the country, the South-East, where we’ve already had and experienced significant growth and success, but we also see much more opportunity and there’s much more consumer demand to meet,” said Jason Hart, the chief executive officer of Aldi US, in an interview with CNBC.

“Doing this [expanding] on our own organically, that has been our plan, and that has been our trajectory over a number of years, and in the South-East as well… This acquisition really gives us the opportunity to accelerate all of those plans.”

The chain, which was founded by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht in 1946, after they took over the running of their mother’s store in Essen, was split into two separate groups in 1960 – Aldi Nord, headquartered in Essen, and Aldi Süd, headquartered in Mülheim – after an argument between the brothers over cigarette sales.

With more than 10,000 stores in 20 countries across the collective brand, Aldi Nord is owned and operated by three different family factions: the Markus foundation (which owns 61 per cent of the shares) and the Lukas and Jakobus foundations (19.5 per cent each). The first two are chaired by Theo Albrecht Jr. (Theo Albrecht’s eldest son) and the latter is owned by two daughters of Berthold Albrecht.

Despite having a structure put in place to ensure the Aldi Nord business stayed within family control, a feud over who would get control of the company following the death of Berthold Albrecht led to an inability to make important strategic decisions.

In recent years, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd have reportedly been looking to move closer together again and have made moves by aligning their IT infrastructure and using the same marketing agency. Rumours of an official merger have been circling since 2020 but have yet to be officially confirmed.

Top Stories