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Chinese textile group confirms acquisition of controlling stake in Bally

Chinese group Shandong Ruyi has confirmed its acquisition of a controlling stake in high-end accessory and footwear group Bally.

Bally’s previous owner, JAB Luxury, put the company up for sale in 2017 as part of a move away from the luxury. Early suitors emerged from China in the shape of apparel manufacturer Fujian Septwolves and investment company Fosun International but rumours that Shandong Ruyi was also interested began to circulate in January.

On February 9, Shandong Ruyi confirmed that it had signed a definitive agreement with JAB Luxury to acquire a controlling stake in Bally; JAB will retain a minority shareholding and Bally’s current management team will “reinvest alongside Shandong Ruyi”.

Commenting on the deal, Bally chief executive, Frédéric de Narp,  said: “Bally has wonderful momentum and huge potential. I would like to recognise the extraordinary commitment and talent of our teams in reinventing and contemporising the company. The arrival of Shandong Ruyi and its vision will significantly accelerate our growth in key segments and territories as we complete the turnaround of this iconic brand.”

Shandong Ruyi is one of the largest textile manufacturers in China. It had a busy 2017, completing a number of high-profile acquisitions. These included purchasing majority stakes in Hong Kong-based apparel retailer Trinity and Israeli tailored clothing company Bagir, as well as paying a reported $2 billion for the apparel and advanced textiles (A&AT) business of polymer and fibre manufacturer Invista.

Image shows shoes and accessories on sale inside Bally’s showroom in Milan.

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