Sources here say that French conglomerate Frey is in talks with Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali to acquire the venerable Italian house.
"We are in talks with Italian and foreign groups, but there is no exclusive dealing with any specific company," an HdP spokeswoman told WWD late Thursday.
Frey, a French financial company that has interests in real estate, champagne, wine and distribution and has stakes in the Mumm, Pierret Jouet, Ayala, Montebello, and Lagune brands, could not be reached at press time.
HdP, which owns GFT Net, Fila, Joseph Abboud and publishing house Rizzoli Corriere della Sera, acquired Valentino in 1998 for a whopping $300 million, three times the direct sales of the house and one of the highest multiples in the fashion business at the time. The deal was supposed to be the starting point for building a fashion empire to compete with the likes of Gucci, Prada and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which were all in luxe brand acquisition mode.
But more recently, HdP has made no secret of the fact that it is interested in focusing on RCS and its media businesses and has been seeking buyers for its fashion unit.
As reported, Opera, the investment fund backed by Bulgari, showed interest in Valentino, but talks came to a halt last year.
@moncler unveiled its latest project, #MonclerGenius, yesterday at Milan Fashion Week. The Italian outwear maker gave show-goers a preview of the monthly collections – which were created by eight designers and creative talents including Pierpaolo Piccioli, Simone Rocha, Craig Green and more – that will start rolling out in the summer.
In honor of Rihanna’s 30th birthday, we took a look back at an interview with the Barbados-native when she was just 18 years old. Here, she talked about her second album, “A Girl Like Me” in 2006. “I want to be me. I want people to fall in love with who Rihanna is, and that’s why I want the album to be about me so people can really find out who this girl Rihanna is, because they only know the ‘Pon de Replay’ girl.” Fast forward 12 years, and she’s released six more albums and has become a powerhouse in both the fashion and music industries. Happy birthday, @badgalriri 🎈(📷: Pavel Antonov) #wwdarchive