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.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)