Fashion: Qatar royals bid on Valentino

600-750 mln offer, negotiations close in July

10 July, 16:22

(ANSAMed) - ROME, JULY 10 - The Qatar royal family has reportedly put in a 600-750 million euro bid for Valentino Fashion Group (VFG), which is owned by the Permira Fund since 2007. ''An exclusive negotiation period ending in July is underway with one of the potential buyers,'' Permira CEO Stefano Sassi said in a note, without revealing who the potential buyers are.

Permira bought VFG in 2007 for 5.3 billion euros, but had to restructure its debt and outlay 250 million euros due to the crisis a year later, according to Bloomberg news. Permira's management, in combination with the forward vision of creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, who found new, younger markets in Asia and the US, had positive results in spite of the crisis, with VFG this year posting sales of 322.4 million euros (+20% over 2010) and EBITDA of 22.2 million (+300%). If Permira does the deal with the Qatari royals, who already own Harrods as well as parts of Porsche, Barclays, and 1% of LVMH, Valentino will be their first wholly owned haute couture brand. But it would not be the first Italian fashion house to go East. It was preceded by Cerruti, bought by Hong Kong's Trinity Ltd. in 2010, and by Gianfranco Ferrè, bought by Dubai's Paris Group a year later. (ANSAMed).

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