MILAN - The board of GFT SpA voted Friday to increase the company's share capital by $58 million (94.5 billion lire) at current exchange rates, to $64 million (104.5 billion lire), by issuing 94.5 million in new shares, most of which will be acquired by GFT's creditor banks.

A portion of the shares will underwritten by the Rivetti family, which formerly controlled GFT, according to a company spokeswoman.

"The important thing is that this operation demonstrates the full support of the creditor banks," she said.

The banks that are the most exposed, Banca Commerciale Italiana, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Istitoto Sa Paolo di Torino, Credito Italiano, Banca di Roma and Banca Crt, will receive the highest number of shares, while the less exposed banks will receive a proportionate stake.

Ultimately, the GFT shares held by the banks will be sold to a future buyer under the rescue plan masterminded by Milan merchant bank Mediobanca.

As reported, Plaid Clothing Group has signed a letter of intent to acquire 100 percent of GFT's stock for $263.8 million. Plaid is currently performing due diligence before completing the purchase. PaineWebber is financial adviser to Plaid.

Clemente Sigoroni, GFT's managing director, declined to comment on the status of the talks with Plaid, but noted that GFT's 1994 orders portfolio is higher than last year's despite the reduction in the number of collections produced and the current slump in the designer clothing market.

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