Industry sources say turning to the banks may be an alternative to finance future growth for the Milan-based fashion group, as talks to secure a minority shareholder may be taking longer than expected. “Potential investors want to have a say in the decision making, so they are vying for either a greater stake in the company or for more power, but the Versace family is loath to relinquish either one,” said a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
As reported, the Milan-based firm is looking at selling a 15 to 20 percent holding by the end of the year.
When rumors about a possible sale first emerged last year, Versace chief executive officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris told WWD in May that there are “many ways to identify financial resources. We have banks close to us that can help us and we have credibility. We speak to banks as a normal procedure. We are defining the processes.” Ferraris has since then always said that the owners — siblings Santo and Donatella Versace, who hold a 30 and 20 percent stake, respectively, and Donatella’s daughter, Allegra Versace Beck, who owns 50 percent, want control over the company.
Another source said the delay in the negotiations “is just a stumbling block, and a solution will be found — it is unlikely the Versaces will sell more shares, but they will let the investors in on the decision making.”
Sources say the IQ Made in Italy joint venture, created last year to invest in Italian brands, and a separate fund from Qatar continues to be in pole position to invest in Versace.
The joint venture was formed by Qatar Holding LLC, a global investment firm founded by the Qatar Investment Authority in 2006, and Italy’s Fondo Strategico Italiano, the holding company controlled by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, or CDP, a financial company controlled by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, which has a 70 percent stake.
IQ Made has no relation to the Mayhoola for Investments fund from Qatar that owns Valentino.
Meanwhile, New York-based fund Blackstone Group has also emerged as a possible suitor.
Almost a year ago, Versace tapped Goldman Sachs and Banca IMI to evaluate growth opportunities.
Last spring, Ferraris set a target for a possible initial public offering: when the company hits sales of 500 million to 600 million euros, or $676 million to $811.2 million at current exchange.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)