Exor, the holding company of the Agnelli family, is once again in the spotlight as it expands its presence in the luxury industry. Its recent acquisition of Chinese label Shang Xia and a stake in Christian Louboutin have thrust Exor into the global luxury market. Now, Exor has partnered with World-Wide Investment Company Limited (Wwicl), Hong Kong’s oldest family office, to create a joint-venture company called Nuo. The goal of this collaboration is to invest in and support medium-sized Italian consumer brands.

The partnership between Exor and Wwicl brings together two multi-generational entrepreneurial families. They will focus on acquiring equity stakes in Italian companies that excel in consumer goods. Nuo will be a 50-50 venture between the two parties.

Wwicl, founded in 1960 by Yue-Kong Pao and now led by Stephen Cheng, has a history of business dealings in Italy. In 2016, Cheng established the Nuo Capital investment fund with Tommaso Paoli, a former director at Intesa-San Paolo. Nuo Capital has already invested in various niche Italian brands in sectors such as wine, design, high tech, and apparel.

One notable fashion investment made by Nuo Capital was in 2018 when it acquired a minority stake in Slowear, a label-retailer. In 2019, Nuo Capital purchased a 30% stake in Ludovico Martelli, a cosmetics group based in Florence. Ludovico Martelli owns brands like Proraso, a men’s grooming products specialist, and Marvis, a toothpaste producer. Wwicl has contributed its equity stake in Ludovico Martelli, along with additional capital, to Nuo. The joint-venture company will start with an initial capital of €300 million, with Exor providing financial support.

The collaboration between Exor and Wwicl extends beyond financial investment. Nuo aims to support the companies it invests in by helping them grow while preserving their unique culture and identity. Exor’s CEO, John Elkann, has faith in Italy’s entrepreneurial tradition and sees potential in the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) specializing in high-end consumer goods. Both Elkann and Cheng are eager to nurture these SMEs, believing that they can evolve into successful companies in the future.

Exor’s portfolio already includes luxury car brand Ferrari, Italian football club Juventus, and automobile manufacturer Stellantis. The partnership with Wwicl through Nuo showcases Exor’s dedication to supporting the growth and development of Italian brands in the global market. With their combined expertise and resources, Exor and Wwicl are poised to have a significant impact on the Italian consumer goods sector and contribute to the success of promising companies in the industry.

Useful links:
1. Exor
2. Nuo Capital