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Moleskine is an iconic, inspirational brand born from the heritage of a legendary notebook. Its purpose is to unleash the human genius through hands on paper to empower creativity and knowledge in each individual and the entire world.

Moleskine is based in Italy, Milano, and has offices in Köln, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. The company sells its products globally through a multichannel strategy (Wholesale, Retail, E-commerce and strategic partnerships – former B2B).

The product portfolio goes beyond the original notebooks to encompass planners, writing instruments, bags, reading accessories etc. Moleskine has recently brought the Smart Writing System to the market, a hybrid, digital notetaking device and manages a digital ecosystem of apps, digital platform, online publications, etc.

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Revenue per year

0 30 60 90 120 150 180 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 EURm

in EUR m

Number of seats at the board

5 out of 7 votes

Ownership structure

D'Ieteren Group 100%

Investment Case – Our Journey with Moleskine

Acquisition of a premium consumer brand with high margins and long-term development potential based on increasing consumer demand for analogue experience in a digitalizing world.

At the end of 2016, D’Ieteren Group acquired Moleskine by taking it private. Since the acquisition, D’Ieteren Group has supported Moleskine’s management team in pursuing multiple paths of growth:

  • Combine a strategy of growth from the core (remaining the market leader and trendsetter in notebooks) while growing through adjacent product categories such as writing materials, smart writing systems, bags, eyewear etc;
  • Strengthen the B2B channels to attract more corporate clients;
  • Increase proximity to customers through developing local products, increasing local presence in all channels and partly decentralizing the organisation.

The multiple tracks of growth have resulted in double digit growth rates the first years. However, the long-term decline in brick and mortar shopping, together with a volatile B2B channel, have resulted in revenues slowing down in 2019 and an increasing pressure on margins, exacerbated in 2020 due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Developing Moleskine for continued profitable growth through simplification and reinvention

In April 2020, D’Ieteren Group appointed a new CEO, Mrs Daniela Riccardi (former CEO of Diesel and Baccarat). D’Ieteren Group is collaborating closely with her leadership team to bring the company to its full potential on multiple dimensions:

  • Reinvigorate the brand and inspire new generations;
  • Implement a direct-to-customer model with a new e-commerce platform and retail concept;
  • Adapt the company’s structure, culture and incentive model to create a lean and high-performing organisation;
  • Intensify the relationship with Moleskine end-customer, including implementation of state-of-the-art CRM;
  • Simplify the product portfolio with focus on both high margin evergreens and improved digital products;
  • Put ESG at the heart of the strategy and assure non-financial targets are met across all stakeholders;
  • Continuously examine strategic partnerships and monitor the competitive landscape.