MILAN (Reuters) – Luxury eyewear group Italia Independent (IINT.MI) is hoping to borrow some of Cristiano Ronaldo’s star appeal.

On Wednesday it announced a five-year licensing agreement with the Portuguese forward as it strives to boost revenues after heavy losses last year.

Under the deal, Ronaldo is to design a sunglass collection under his CR7 brand, known for luxury underwear.

The market received the news enthusiastically. Shares were automatically suspended on Milan’s AIM platform for smaller companies on Wednesday after excessive pre-session trading.

Founded by Lapo Elkann, grandson of the late Fiat patriarch Gianni Agnelli, Italia Independent in September reported a 4.4 million euros ($4.9 million) core operating loss in the first half of 2019.

In response, it launched a four-year turnaround plan aiming to more than double its revenue to 42 million euros by 2023.

Elkann, famed for his flamboyant fashion sense, said in a statement the licensing deal had “extraordinary importance” for the company’s growth plans.

Ronaldo’s playing prowess as well as his established marketing appeal helped revenue at his side Juventus (JUVE.MI), also controlled by the Agnelli family, to grow by 16.5% last year, according to data from consultancy firm Deloitte.

Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Barbara Lewis


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

New company launched to operate China’s homegrown aircraft

China Eastern Airlines on Wednesday launched an aviation company to operate the nation’s homegrown aircrafts such as the ARJ21 and the C919. Called OTT Airlines, the newly established carrier will operate a mix of Chinese manufactured commercial aircrafts as well…

Program to share employees aids region

NANNING-While people in China are returning to work amid the epidemic, an employee-sharing program in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region has helped solve the understaffed problem for some enterprises. The program, recently launched by Walmart in Guangxi, with local…

Trump administration wants to use Americans’ location data to track the coronavirus

Washington, DC (CNN Business)The Trump administration is in discussions with the tech industry, including Facebook and Google, about how to use Americans’ cellphone location data to track the spread of the novel coronavirus. Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOGL) confirmed to…

NASA goes private for 1st astronaut lunar landers in decades

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA is turning to private industry for the first lunar landers for astronauts in a half-century, with three competing, quite contrasting versions. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Thursday the three companies that will develop, build and…