By  on September 21, 2007

MILAN — Valentino Fashion Group SpA has assembled a new board, renewing Stefano Sassi's mandate as chief executive officer, bidding farewell to former chairman Antonio Favrin and replacing him with a corporate lawyer.

This is the first management shake-up at the company since private equity firm Permira assumed control of VFG, which owns the Valentino fashion house, men's wear giant Hugo Boss AG and other apparel assets.

VFG named Umberto Nicodano, a lawyer specializing in mergers and acquisitions, as chairman. An insider said Nicodano's role will be institutional in scope since Sassi has the management experience to effectively run the group. There are plenty of other changes afoot. Earlier this month, Valentino tapped Alessandra Facchinetti as creative director following the resignation of Valentino Garavani and his business partner, Giancarlo Giammetti.

It was long expected Favrin would resign from his post. He and Carlyle Group had attempted their own rival takeover of VFG this year, but Permira ultimately won. Subsequently, Favrin sold his VFG shares to Permira in July.

The new 10-member VFG board consists of four Permira representatives, including Gianluca Andena, Permira's co-ceo for Italy, and Martin Weckwerth, of the fund's German operations. Other board members include Nicodano, Sassi, two independents, as well as Gaetano Marzotto and Paolo Carlo Orazio Marzotto, two members of the family who sold VFG to Permira.

Permira wrapped up its tender offer for VFG this month. It holds just more than 97 percent of the fashion company. Permira is expected to squeeze out the remaining minority shareholders and delist VFG from the Milan stock exchange. Permira's price tag for 100 percent of VFG will be about 2.6 billion euros, or $3.63 billion at current exchange.

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