By  on January 24, 2006

MILAN — Monaco-based jeweler Alberto Repossi said he has bought 2 percent of Italian fashion group IT Holding SpA and stated that he wants to form a partnership with the company to develop new product lines.

Repossi said in a statement that he wants to create jewelry and watches for the IT Holding-owned Gianfranco Ferré brand and launch a Repossi-branded sportswear line.

Repossi could not be reached for further comment on the e-mailed statement. An IT Holding spokesman declined to comment Monday. Gianfranco Ferré chief executive officer Massimo Macchi told WWD late last year that he would like to launch a full-fledged jewelry line for the fashion house.

IT Holding has a market capitalization of about 390 million euros, or $468 million at current exchange, so a 2 percent stake would cost approximately 7.8 million euros, or $9.4 million.

Repossi is president and owner of Repossi Joailliers, and grandson of G. Pietro Repossi, who founded the company in 1920. Repossi has made a name for itself, creating jewelry for both royal families and Hollywood stars, including Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Sinatra and Demi Moore.

Repossi said in the release that he wants to broaden the Repossi product range beyond jewelry. "For a long time, I have wanted to create a fashion and accessories division which could involve different strategies than those used by Bulgari and, more recently, Asprey," he said in the statement.

Repossi said he wanted to use his IT Holding stake to express his "French Riviera" spirit with thematic and original collections that evoke the lifestyle of his jewelry-making family, originally from Turin, Italy. Repossi also said he is considering increasing his stake in IT Holding since Luigi Giribaldi, a secretive Monaco-based investor and corporate raider, has said that he wants to sell part or all of his 20.6 percent shareholding in IT Holding. Repossi said his financial and legal advisers, Petricca Merchant Bank, Norton Rose and R&C&Partners, are already in talks with Giribaldi's banks, Mediobanca and Banque du Gothard, regarding this possibility.

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