Who owns Gucci?

Gucci is a luxury fashion house based in Florence, Italy, which sells products such as footwear, perfumes, makeup, ready-to-wear, and home décor. 

Gucci was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, with their son Aldo Gucci responsible for making the family-owned company a brand recognized all over the world. The first American store was opened in New York City in 1953, with showrooms then opened in London, Paris, and Florida over the next decade or so.

As of December 2021, Gucci operated a total of 501 stores around the world with estimated global revenue totaling €9.73 billion. The company also celebrated 100 years in business in 2021 with new collections based on its most celebrated designs.

Gucci ownership structure

When Guccio Gucci passed away in 1953, three of his five sons received shares in the company – Aldo, Rodolfo, and Vasco. When Vasco passed away in 1974 and Rodolfo in 1983, Gucci was owned by surviving brother Aldo and Rodolfo’s son Maurizio. 

In the 1980s, Maurizio and Aldo Gucci became involved in protracted battles over who would assume majority ownership of the company. Maurizio ultimately took control of Gucci after Rodolfo was sentenced to a year in prison for tax evasion. In 1988 with the company in financial difficulty, he sold approximately 48% of Gucci to Bahrain-based investment firm and Tiffany owner Investcorp. The rest of Gucci was sold to Investcorp in a 1993 deal with around $200 million.

Under new leadership in the late 1990s, Gucci’s reversal in fortunes saw Prada take a 9.5% stake. Bernard Arnault, chief of luxury conglomerate LVMH, also accumulated a sizeable holding of 34% and then acquired Prada’s stake before an unsuccessful takeover bid.

To escape from LVMH’s control, Gucci reached out to French financier François Pinault and his multinational corporation Pinault Printemps Redoute – now known as Kering. The corporation purchased a 44% stake in Gucci in 1999 which diluted LVMH’s controlling interest in the process. The deal resulted in a long and expensive court battle between Kering and LVMH as both companies tried to wrestle control of Gucci.

Kering would prove to be the victors of this battle and completed their buyout of Gucci in an $8.8 billion deal in 2004.

Key takeaways:

  • Gucci is a luxury fashion house based in Florence, Italy, which sells products such as footwear, perfumes, makeup, ready-to-wear, and home décor. Gucci was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, with son Aldo Gucci responsible for making the family-owned company a brand recognized all over the world.
  • Gucci was family-owned until 1988 when financial difficulties caused the company to be sold to Bahrain-based investment firm Investcorp. Gucci was then progressively sold off to LVMH who then initiated an unsuccessful takeover bid.
  • French multinational Pinault Printemps Redoute took a controlling stake in Gucci to arrest control from LVMH, which resulted in a long court battle that it would ultimately win. The multinational, now known as Kering, completed its purchase of Gucci in 2004.

Read Also: What are the LVMH subsidiaries?, Bernard Arnault Empire: LVMH Group Business Model, How Does Tiffany Make Money?

Read Also: Successful Types of Business Models You Need to Know.

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