MILAN — IT Holding SpA said late Thursday it had reached a nonbinding agreement with China’s Mensun Ltd., concerning “a possible disposal of assets” belonging to the Italian fashion group.
IT Holding, which owns the Gianfranco Ferré, Malo and Exte brands and operates under license the Just Cavalli, Costume National C’N’C and Galliano labels, also appointed turnaround specialist Pierantonio Nebuloni as chief executive officer, replacing Tonino Perna, who remains chairman.
“This change in the organization shows the ability of IT Holding to promptly adapt itself, introducing new skills and experience to manage new challenges generated by market changes,” the company said.
IT Holding did not disclose what assets it could sell to Mensun, although speculation increased Thursday that the deal centered on Ittierre SpA, the fashion group’s apparel manufacturing unit. Reportedly, Perna wants to sell Ittierre for at least 185 million euros, or $239.7 million, or the equivalent value of its bond, which expires in 2012. Mensun, meanwhile, is said to be interested in appointing Thierry Andretta, a former manager at Gucci Group and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, as Ittierre’s ceo.
Neither IT Holding nor Mensun could be reached for comment Thursday evening.
Last week, IT Holding said its board had given Perna “a wide mandate” to continue talks with Mensun on an exclusive basis through Dec. 31. In September, the Italian company said it was in negotiations regarding the possible sale of a minority stake in PA Investments SA, IT Holding’s parent company, and possible commercial and production agreements in the Asian market.
Nebuloni is a former ceo of Italian energy group ERG SpA, where he led the strategic and organizational transformation of the company from 1992 to 2003. In 2005, he cofounded Italian investment company Management & Capitali, focused on turnaround projects, leaving in 2007.
IT Holding is under intense pressure due to the size of its debt and a string of poor results. In November, the group forecast an 8 percent drop in full-year revenues and a lower profit margin, after a net loss of 10.1 million euros, or $15.4 million, in the first nine months of the year, compared with earnings of 6.6 million euros, or $8.9 million, in the same period in 2007.
Revenues through Sept. 30 fell 7 percent to 468 million euros, or $712.5 million, while earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation dropped 16 percent to 83.2 million euros, or $126.7 million.
Dollar figures were converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.
As of Sept. 30, following a reduction in working capital, IT Holding’s debt was 295.4 million euros, or $382.8 million, which includes the bond.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast