By  on December 18, 2006

In a move to substantially expand its business overseas, Guess Inc. is buying the controlling interest in Focus Pull SpA, which holds the license for the Guess by Marciano contemporary line in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, according to industry sources.

The deal is expected to be announced this week.

In January 2005, Guess acquired its European jeanswear business, which gave it a significant platform from which to expand its business on the Continent.

At Guess Inc., the total European business generates $36 million in earnings and $185.3 million in revenues.

Focus Pull SpA, based in Bologna, Italy, currently does about $50 million in sales. Sources said the business is on track to generate between $200 million and $300 million within three to five years. There are 18 Guess by Marciano stores in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and plans call for opening 30 more next year and 40 to 45 stores in 2008.

Paul Marciano, co-chairman and co-chief executive officer of Guess, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Guess by Marciano is a women's contemporary line of woven and knit tops, dresses, skirts, pants and outerwear, as well as tailored suiting for men. The line is developed in Europe by Focus, which has been a Guess licensee for the past nine years.

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