Saturday, June 20, 2020

Carlyle Retains Minority Investment in Golden Goose

The Carlyle Group sold it majority stake in Golden Goose on June 16, 2020.  Carlyle inked the deal mid-February before the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the global economy. In the interim Golden Goose closed some retail stores as countries tried to stem the virus' spread.

Golden Goose chief executive officer Silvio Campara has taken the proverbial bull by the horns, deciding to skip a season as the coronavirus spreads, Italy is in lockdown and stores are closed.
There's no word if Carlyle had to lower the price of Golden Goose, like many deals made before the economic free fall from COVID-19 lock-downs.  Buyer Permira did not pull a Carlyle and walk away from the deal (as The Carlyle Group did with American Express Global Business Travel).

I imagine Carlyle told Permira that Fed Chief Jay Powell's trillions in financial intervention made Golden Goose more valuable, not less.  The stinking rich got stinkier thanks to Powell's trillion dollar firehose.  Jay Powell is a former Carlyle executive, as is Fed Vice Chair Randall Quarles.

The Carlyle Group bought Golden Goose in March 2017.  In September 2018 Golden Goose makes luxury sneakers that looked anything but:  Time reported:

Italian luxury sneaker brand Golden Goose came under fire after it debuted a pair of $530 sneakers that are styled to look dingy and worn-out with duct tape accents that’s described on Nordstrom’s website as “crumply, hold-it-all-together tape.”

“[Our] company is proud to highlight its pioneering role in the booming of the distressed look, one of the current biggest trends in fashion,” the Venetian label said in a statement to Us magazine. “The duct tape reinforcements appearing on the [Superstar sneaker] style pay homage to the West Coast’s skater culture — professional skaters, who have inspired the brand’s shoe collections from the beginning, repair their shoes with the same kind of tape.”

The design is a riff on the “distressed” fashion trend, but some shoppers think that the intentional wear and tear of a pair of brand-new sneakers is in poor taste, especially when seen in the context of those whose shoes look like that because of economic depression as opposed to a style trend.
Carlyle holds a stake in Supreme, another retailer appealing to urban, skater culture.  Supreme founder James Jebbia came under fire recently for his ties to The Carlyle Group.  A Carlyle affiliate makes tear gas, flashbangs rubber bullets and other crowd control, suppression products used against. Jebbia's loyal customers.

Carlyle's golden touch remains.  Golden Goose did not fall into bankruptcy as did two private equity retailers, J. Crew and Neiman Marcus.

Summer brings what to an America losing its battle against the coronavirus while forced to wrestle with its racists underpinnings?  Recall Thomas Jefferson could have freed his slaves after a dear friend willed him the funds to do so.  Instead Jefferson innovated in the financial arena, using his slaves as collateral for a loan from a Dutch bank.  That's PEU worthy.

The young and wealthy need not worry about that.  Golden Goose encourages:

Carlyle is having a golden summer thanks to Jay Powell and Golden Goose.  Superstar is their motto.  Grapes and cherries for the PEU boys and their sponsored politicians.  Nothing for you.

Update 6-21-20:  Taylor Swift's Golden Goose shoes remain ripe for some type of symbolic act as Carlyle remains a minority shareholder.