By  on June 8, 2009

MILAN — Safilo Group SpA said Friday it expects to receive “offers soon” regarding the possible entry of a private equity fund into its share capital.

“The company will present the eventual offers to the board,” Safilo stated, after the eyewear firm’s stock was temporarily suspended on the Milan Bourse following a 13.7 percent gain.

As reported Thursday, “at least two” private equity funds — thought to be Bain Capital and PAI — were to submit offers for a stake in Safilo on Friday as it looks to ease mounting debts and declining demand, according to sources. Neither equity fund returned calls seeking comment.

Safilo chief executive officer Roberto Vedovotto said in April that talks between the group’s majority shareholder Only 3T SpA and four private equity funds were ongoing and a deal could be reached before the summer. The other funds linked to the eyewear firm are CVC Capital Partners and Apax Partners.

As of March 31, Safilo’s net financial position rose to 617.7 million euros, or $879.4 million at current exchange, from 570 million, or $811.5 million, at the close of 2008.

The Tabacchi family controls 39.9 percent of Safilo via Only 3T.

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