MILAN — After 19 months of government-backed bankruptcy protection, the Gianfranco Ferré brand has a new owner.
According to sources, Prodos Capital Management LLC, a New York-based merchant bank, in a group with Samsung, has submitted a bid that has won over the state-appointed commissioners of the brand. However, the minister of economic development, held at interim by Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, will have the final say on the sale. The Ferré show is being held here today.
“We asked bidders to commit to keeping the company’s operations in Italy, and to invest the necessary sum to relaunch the business,” said Andrea Ciccoli, one of the administrators of the brand, together with Roberto Spada and Stanislao Chimenti. “We want the brand to have continuity with long-term strategic decisions.”
Ciccoli remarked that he was pleased Gianfranco Ferré “can attract investors that believe in the business. It’s all very different now, compared to the initial proceedings when the brand in itself was the only draw. Now the offers are based on the value of a company that is functioning.” The commissioner said there are 160 employees at stake. A production plant is based in Bologna.
“Advisers Mediobanca and Sinergetica are looking for the best industrial plan, one that also takes into consideration a future for Ferré’s employees,” said one source. “This is what will tip the scale.”
Egyptian tycoon Hamed Eleish was said to be neck-and-neck in the bidding, which is estimated to total between 8 million and 10 million euros, or $10.6 million and $13.3 million at current exchange rates. However, it is understood that “several tens of millions will need to be further injected in the company to develop its business,” said a source.
In 1978, the late Gianfranco Ferré founded his namesake fashion house with Franco Mattioli, his longtime friend, adviser and business partner, until the two had a falling out in 1999. In 2000, after a bitter tug-of-war that lasted more than two years, Ferré and Mattioli sold 90 percent of the company to Gruppo Tonino Perna, the parent of Italian fashion group IT Holding. Industry sources say GTP paid between $150 million and $175 million for its stake in Gianfranco Ferré SpA. Weighed down by debt, IT Holding SpA has been in government-backed bankruptcy protection since February 2009.
Ferré, together with Malo and manufacturer Ittierre SpA, was part of IT Holding SpA.
The giant telecommunications firm Samsung, which partnered with Versace and Giorgio Armani on mobile phones and, in the case of the latter, a television set as well, also produces a women’s fashion line, which is distributed to a network of its own stores in Asia. “It’s a very profitable business, with sales of more than 2 billion euros [$2.6 billion],” said a source.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)