MILAN — Versace has selected Blackstone Group as the partner to help grow the brand globally.

The New-York based fund was one of the three investors that had made the short list, together with global private equity firm CCMP and Investcorp, according to market sources.

Blackstone is to buy a 20 percent stake through a capital increase of 150 million euros, or $205.8 million at current exchange rates, and acquire shares for 60 million euros, or $82.3 million.

The Italian fashion firm was looking to sell a 20 percent holding to finance future growth. 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 to maintain control over the company.

This is the first foray into luxury for Blackstone, which recently has invested in Crocs Inc.

Rumors about a possible sale of Versace emerged in 2012 when the group tapped Goldman Sachs and Banca IMI to evaluate growth opportunities.

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