By  on September 15, 2010

MILAN — The sale of the Gianfranco Ferré brand is in its final stages, and is likely to be finalized by or during Milan Fashion Week later this month. The Ferré show is scheduled for Sept. 24.

According to sources, Egyptian tycoon Hamed Eleish and Prodos Capital Management LLC, a New York-based merchant bank, in a group with Samsung, are neck-and-neck in the bidding, which is estimated to total between 8 million and 10 million euros, or $10.2 million and $12.7 million at current exchange rates.

“We’re happy to confirm a rapid progress on the sale of the Gianfranco Ferré brand, which we hope to define shortly,” said Andrea Ciccoli, one of the three state-appointed administrators of the label.

Ferré, together with Malo and manufacturer Ittierre SpA, was part of IT Holding SpA, which has been in government-backed bankruptcy protection since February 2009.

Sources also say that Ciccoli, with administrators Roberto Spada and Stanislao Chimenti, has requested IT Holding’s assets in the U.S. to be put under Chapter 15 protection, which would allow the properties to be frozen until the sales are completed. Among these estates are a Just Cavalli store on New York’s Fifth Avenue and Ferré’s Rodeo Drive boutique in Los Angeles.

Binding offers for the purchase of Ferré and Ittierre were submitted to the commissionerson Aug. 2. The offers had to include business plans to continue the companies’ activities.

Department store operator Borletti Group, which recently eyed an investment in Karstadt, appears to be still in the running for Ittierre, as is Albisetti, the Italian manufacturer. Albisetti holds innerwear and beachwear licenses for brands including Jil Sander, John Galliano and Roberto Cavalli — the latter two a link with Ittierre, which produces apparel collections Just Cavalli and Galliano, in addition to C’N’C Costume National, Ermanno Ermanno Scervino, GF Ferré and Extè.

This summer, high-end cashmere knitwear firm Malo, also controlled by IT Holding, was sold to Tuscan-based luxury retail group Evanthe.

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