Kering SA Makes Historic €1.3 Billion Milan Property Acquisition


Kering acquires historic Milan property for €1.3 billion, bolstering its luxury retail presence on Via Monte Napoleone.

By Bill Bullington

4/4, 07:46 EDT

Key Takeaway

  • Kering SA acquires historic Milan property for €1.3 billion, emphasizing its luxury retail expansion and strategic real estate investments.
  • The purchase marks the largest asset sale in Italian real estate, showcasing high demand for prime locations among investors.
  • This move aligns with Kering's broader strategy to secure exceptional buildings in key cities, enhancing value for its luxury brands.

Kering's Strategic Expansion

In a bold move that underscores its commitment to securing prime retail locations, Kering SA, the powerhouse behind the iconic Gucci brand, has made a significant investment in Milan's luxury shopping scene. The French luxury group announced its acquisition of a historic property on Via Monte Napoleone, Milan's most prestigious shopping street, for €1.3 billion ($1.41 billion). This strategic purchase from a unit of Blackstone Property Partners Europe not only highlights Kering's selective real estate strategy but also its vision for the future of luxury retail.

A Landmark Deal

The property, Via Monte Napoleone 8, is an 18th-century building boasting over 5,000 square meters of retail space across five floors. It's one of the largest spaces on the renowned street, which hosts an array of high-end fashion, jewelry, and footwear brands. The building's current tenants include Cova, the upscale Italian cafe owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, and fashion label Prada, adding to the location's allure. Luigi Caruso, senior managing director with Blackstone in London, described the transaction as “the single largest asset sale in the Italian real estate market,” a testament to the exceptional investor demand for high-quality real estate in prime markets.

Milan's Renaissance

Milan's property sector has experienced a revival, with revitalization projects transforming once-neglected areas into coveted upscale zones. Kering's investment is timely, reflecting the city's growing appeal as a luxury retail destination. This move follows Kering's January acquisition of a building on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue for $963 million, indicating a warming trend in luxury retail real estate investments.

Strategic Vision

Kering's investment in Milan is part of a broader "selective real estate strategy," aimed at securing key locations for its labels. The company's approach to managing its real estate portfolio involves retaining stakes in prime assets alongside co-investors in dedicated vehicles. Jean-Marc Duplaix, Kering's Deputy Chief Executive Officer, emphasized the focus on purchasing "exceptional" buildings in a limited number of cities to create value for the group's labels. Furthermore, Kering is exploring partnerships with financial funds to enhance agility while minimizing real estate exposure, ensuring the company remains focused on its core luxury retail business.