MILAN — L Capital, a private equity fund sponsored by LVMH, has acquired a majority stake in Piazza Sempione, a high-end Italian fashion manufacturer.

The two parties issued a press release late Tuesday confirming speculation that swirled in the fashion community. The exact percentage and amount paid for L Capital’s share was not disclosed.

L Capital over the past five years has completed 16 investments in everything from fashion accessories to food to garden furniture.

Piazza Sempione, founded in 1991 by Roberto Monti and Marisa Guerrizio, a husband-and-wife team, built its fashion reputation on high-quality clothes of commercial clout and trendy innovation that cater to sensible working women. Guerrizio, the creative director, was one of the first designers to use exclusive noble fabrics that stretched both horizontally and vertically.

Bypassing fashion shows and megabucks ad campaigns, Piazza Sempione has boosted its exports, which now account for about 90 percent of sales. The line is carried in some 560 points of sale worldwide, with Germany and the U.S. the strongest markets.

L Capital will keep the brand’s identity intact, as well as its tradition and managerial structure, according to a statement. In addition, the private equity fund seeks to grow Piazza Sempione on the opening of namesake stores, boosting the U.S. market, strengthening the accessories business and increasing presence in Asia.

“We believe that L Capital is a strategic partner for us, and not only financially speaking, for the next years,” said Roberto Monti, who is chairman and chief executive officer.

This story first appeared in the July 19, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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