Symphony International Holdings Limited has taken a stake in a boutique luxury leather goods brand, Maison Takuya, known for its hand-crafted leather products and accessories.
This new investment is in line with Symphony’s strategic focus on consumer-driven businesses, particularly in the Lifestyle, Hospitality, Branded Real-Estate and Healthcare sectors across Asia Pacific. The partnership with Maison Takuya provides Symphony with the ability to further capitalise on the rising consumer demand for luxury goods in the region.
According to Bain & Company’s “Spring 2011 Update: Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study” conducted in cooperation with Altagamma, the flagship trade association for the Italian luxury goods industry global luxury goods sales are forecast to show a 5% to 6% annual growth through 2014. While the U.S. remains the world’s largest luxury goods market, the study predicts that growth in emerging markets will remain the focus of luxury manufacturers in the next two to three years.
Anil Thadani, Chairman of Symphony Investment Managers Limited, says: “The rapid rise of affluence within Asia’s aspirational mid-income bracket population is causing dramatic changes in consumption patterns. As one consequence, the strength of consumer-related demand for luxury goods in Asia is growing. We believe that companies with focused strategies in the luxury goods sector can drive long-term sustainable value and our strategy is to form enduring partnerships with talented visionaries and entrepreneurs in this sector.”
“The opportunity to partner with Maison Takuya was identified through our own private network of relationships. We see the brand’s potential to become a leading international label because of its high design content and dedication to fine workmanship and quality. We are hopeful that Maison Takuya will benefit from Symphony’s expertise in strategic direction and financial management, particularly within the lifestyle sector, as well as from potential collaborations with our existing portfolio companies,” added Mr Thadani.
Maison Takuya was founded in 2009 by Mr Francois Russo, who is the Art Director and Chairman of the company. Although a very young brand, it has already been well received by aficionados of fine goods because of its modern yet understated designs and exquisite quality.
Maison Takuya products are available at selected high-end stores globally, including Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Bon Marche in Paris. Its network now covers over 150 retailers in 12 countries, including Japan, Singapore, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, France, Monaco, Switzerland and the US.
Russo says: “The idea behind Maison Takuya is to combine the DNA and know-how of European and Asian traditional luxury leather craftsmanship with ultra high quality and a contemporary design philosophy. Maison Takuya is one of few luxury leather brands, which made a conscious decision not to outsource in order to control its manufacturing process. The uniqueness and success of Maison Takuya originates from this uncompromising value matched with an obsession for practicality of design.”
Maison Takuya’s aim is to maintain its high standards in craftsmanship while expanding its selective distribution. The investment by Symphony will facilitate plans to expand distribution by opening additional stores in selected cities worldwide.
In addition to Maison Takuya, Symphony’s portfolio of investee companies includes Parkway Life Real Estate Investment Trust (healthcare), Minor International (hospitality), Minuet Limited (branded real-estate), C Larsen Singapore Pte Limited and the Asian Food Channel (lifestyle).
Although these companies span a wide range of industries, they are all businesses catering to the needs of the Asian consumer and Symphony’s investment approach will continue to target similar consumer-driven businesses.
In October last year, a wholly owned subsidiary of Symphony signed a joint-venture agreement to invest in a resort development with an affiliate of Destination Resorts and Hotels Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the investment arm of the Government of Malaysia. The project will consist of a beachfront club, and villas, which will be branded and managed by Amanresorts, one of the world’s leading luxury lifestyle companies.
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