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Italian hat maker Borsalino finds new owners
A photo taken on March 30, 2016 shows machinery at the Borsalino hat company's factory in Alessandria. A group of investors is determined to revive the legendary brand by maintaining what has made it successful: handcrafting and ancestral traditions. GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP.


MILAN (AFP).- Italy's Borsalino, one of the world's most famous hat makers whose fedora was made famous by Humphrey Bogart in the film "Casablanca" and Harrison Ford in "Indiana Jones", officially passed into new ownership on Wednesday, a month after being put up for auction.

Swiss-Italian investment fund Haeres Equita, which has already been managing the hat maker since the end of 2015, was the only bidder in an auction organised by its administrators on July 12.

And since no new offer has been forthcoming since, Haeres Equita is now officially the new owner of Borsalino, the brand, its factory in Alessandria, the equipment, work contracts and retailing rights.

The hat maker, whose fedora was also worn by Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo in the film "Borsalino", celebrated its 160th anniversary last year.

The firm with 135 employees had racked up a debt 30 million euros as a result of the mismanagement of its former chief, Marco Marenco, who has since been sentenced to five years in prison for fraudulent bankruptcy.

Haeres Equita chief Philippe Camperio had said in mid-July that Borsalino would be listed on the stock exchange "within four or five years".

It currently has annual sales of around 17.5 million euros and Haeres Equita hopes to increase annual production of currently 150,000 fedoras "fivefold in five years".


© Agence France-Presse





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