Case Study

Etiqueta Negra: Growth, brand building and private equity in Latin America

22 pages
April 2009
Reference: IMD-3-2030

As Luc Gerard stepped out of the plane coming from freezing cold Bogotá in October 2007, he could not help but notice the pleasant mid-summer weather in Buenos Aires. He hoped this was a good omen for the deal he was contemplating there for his young private equity company, Tribe Capital Partners (Tribeca). Strategically, Etiqueta Negra, an Argentinean fashion company, seemed a great fit for the portfolio. It was based in Latin America, Tribeca’s targeted geographical playground. It fit neatly into its high-end fashion focus. The brand would also fit well alongside his recently acquired Colombia-based swimwear phenomenon OndadeMar. Between them, they could probably leverage knowledge, share activities and contacts, and obtain economies of scale. Etiqueta Negra had also proved itself to be a profitable company and a resilient brand name, and the concept was easy to scale up. However, there were still quite a few unknowns: Was this brand sufficiently differentiated? Would it sell in North America and Europe? Would the concept fly there? This was to be Tribeca’s first foreign venture. Although launched with the ambition to become the first “global” Latin American private equity company, it had so far found enough great opportunities on its home market. Etiqueta Negra had built its brand on the appeal of Argentinean sport icons, such as Juan-Manuel Fangio; making it Colombian could ruffle a few nationalistic feathers. This was bound to increase the visibility of the deal, for good and bad. If it flew, it would be a flagship transaction that could help Luc source many other similar deals and put him in the big league as a cross-continental private equity investor. If it failed, it could set back his efforts for years. “Well,” he thought, “we are risk investors, after all.”

Learning Objective

Building and managing a brand globally in the fashion industry. High-end fashion retailing. Globalization of brands. Growth financing in a global context.

Private Equity, Growth Financing, Brand Building, Brand Management, Retail, Fashion, Textile
South America
Etiqueta Negra, Consumer Goods, Apparel and Fashion
Field Research
© 2009
Available Languages
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