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Blackstone wins race for 20% Versace stake

27 Feb 2014

Global investment group Blackstone has agreed to invest €150m of fresh capital into Italian fashion house Versace, acquiring a further €60m in stock from GIVI Holding, and taking a 20 per cent stake in the company.

Private equity suitors were previously said to include CCMP Capital Advisors and Investcorp. All of the three firms have satisfied the requirement that the new partner take a back seat in the management of the company

Last month it was reported that Versace planned to choose the buyer for the stake before the end of January.

The Versace family will “remain at the heart of the company”, it said, with Allegra Versace Beck, Donatella Versace and Santo Versace all retaining roles.

Donatella Versace, group creative director, said, “I am very pleased to work with Blackstone and, in particular, with Stephen Schwarzman, whom I admire for his achievements and who shares the family’s vision for the development of Versace. We have gained a strong and unique positioning in luxury fashion, and I believe that this investment in the Company, together with our clear direction and our outstanding management team, will enable us to achieve Versace’s potential.”
Stephen Schwarzman, chairman, CEO and Co-founder of Blackstone, said: “It is a great pleasure to be working with a true icon in Donatella Versace.  She has a unique position in the fashion world and has helped make Versace one of the few global, luxury fashion brands. We are delighted to be involved with this exceptional business, and are committed to helping Versace realize its strong growth potential around the world. We look forward to helping Donatella and the management achieve their goals.”

Versace’s enhanced capital position will allow the company to invest in its retail store network in existing and emerging markets, Blackstone said.  It will also enable Versace to bring forward plans to develop further its portfolio of brands, as well as its product offering, with a specific focus on accessories, and enhance its e-commerce business.

Versace will release its 2013 results at the end of March and  expects to announce revenues up approximately 18 per cent to nearly €480m and EBITDA up more than 50 per cent to at least €69m.

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