By  on June 5, 2009

MILAN — “At least two” private equity funds will submit offers for a stake in Italy’s Safilo Group SpA today as the eyewear firm looks to ease mounting debts, sources said Thursday.

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.

According to Italian news reports, these may include Apax Partners, Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners and PAI. Safilo, CVC and PAI would not comment on the matter Thursday, while Bain Capital and Apax did not return calls seeking comment.

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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