By IPA staff

Lunar Capital will partner Pinco Pallino S.p.A. to develop the luxury children’s wear brand, I Pinco Pallino, in China and East Asia. The partnership will involve establishing a joint venture in seven key East Asian countries.

Lunar Capital will take a majority stake in the joint venture through an affiliate, and will also second senior management to oversee the Asian operations. The agreement also includes a minority investment from Lunar Capital in the share capital of Pinco Pallino through a reserved capital increase to support the expansion.

The newly-established joint venture plans to open 50 stores under the brand “I Pinco Pallino” within the next five years, including flagship stores and corners in upscale department stores in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau, Singapore and Taiwan, the companies said in a statement. The project starts with the 2013-2014 Fall-Winter collection, which was presented at the Pitti Bimbo fair in early January.

Pinco Pallino is owned by Opera SGR S.p.A. a Milan-based private equity firm investing in global Italian brands.

Derek Sulger, Managing Partner at Lunar Capital, said: “I Pinco Pallino gives us an opportunity to address the growing need for higher quality baby and children’s wear products in China and nearby Asian markets. We intend to leverage Lunar Capital’s operational expertise in China by acquiring best-of-breed brands and products originally developed overseas, such as I Pinco Pallino.”

Lunar Capital was advised by Method Investments & Advisory Ltd (London), King & Wood Mallesons (Hong Kong) and Gianni Orrigoni & Partners. Opera and Pinco Pallino were advised by the law firm Caffi Maroncelli & Associati and Studio BNC (Bergamo).