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Carlyle Group takes full control of Twinset

US private equity group Carlyle Group has strengthened its position in Italian fashion brand Twinset by buying the remaining 10 percent stake from founder Simona Barbieri, to increase its stake from 90 percent to 100 percent.

The Carlyle Group sees Twinset as a “key investment” in the European fashion and apparel sector, in 2012 it bought 72 percent of the Italian fashion label, and went on to raise its stake to 90 percent in 2015.

The affordable luxury label will sit alongside the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand and Hunkemoller, following the previous investment in Moncler.

Following the exit from shareholding, founder Barbieri will also step down from her roles of creative director and director of the company, a press statement from Twinset confirmed.

"We are grateful for the work done by Simona Barbieri, who is a talented designer with a very distinctive vision and I wish her all the best for the future,” said Alessandro Varisco, Twinset's chief executive officer. “In a challenging environment, Twinset continues to perform well and we are strongly committed to further enhance the brand’s values, product offering and boost global presence, leveraging Carlyle’s high industry expertise and strong international network.”

Marco De Benedetti, managing director and co-head at Carlyle Europe Partners, added: "I would like to thank Simona Barbieri for our creative collaboration and the objectives achieved together in these years.

“Carlyle strongly believes in Twinset’s potential and I am convinced that the management team will continue to develop the brand’s international positioning and grow the business successfully.”

Twinset was founded in 1990 as an accessible luxury womenswear that specialised in knitwear. The Italian market accounted for approximately 64 percent of turnover in 2015, while the retail channel made up 34 percent. At the end of 2015, Twinset had a direct sales network of 67 shops, of which 45 were in Italy and 22 abroad in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium and Russia.

Image: Twinset website