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Another Cavalli Suitor Said to Drop Out

After Permira, Bahrain-based Investcorp has also taken a step back, in disaccord over the price tag, according to media reports.

MILAN — The road to a sale of the Roberto Cavalli company might be longer and more winding than the designer anticipated, but sources in Milan say the brand is still looking for an investor and that discussions are ongoing — although the list of suitors is narrowing.

After Permira, Bahrain-based Investcorp has also taken a step back, in disaccord over the price tag, according to media reports.

Contacted on Friday, the Cavalli company had no comment.

As reported, Investcorp, a former Gucci owner, as well as Qatar Holding had been rumored to be looking at Cavalli, following speculation of a slowdown or perhaps a halt of negotiations with private equity fund Permira, which have not yet led to a deal. Sources said the discussions have hit a number of stumbling blocks — mainly the valuation of the fashion house.

The price tag also was an issue in August 2009, when Cavalli suddenly abandoned plans to sell a 30 percent stake in his business to Italian private equity firm Clessidra SGR SpA after lengthy discussions.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg speculated that a group of investors led by Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller had been eyeing the Italian firm, but the deal has not yet unfolded.

In terms of assessment, Permira is said to have valued Cavalli at about 450 million euros, or $612.1 million.