Roberto Cavalli RTW Fall 2019

MILAN — The sale of the Roberto Cavalli company is taking yet another turn.

Confirming a WWD report last week, it appears that a composition with creditors is increasingly in the cards for the Florence-based fashion house.

On Wednesday, unions Filctem Cgil and Femca Cisl sent a note to “denounce the grave uncertainties” surrounding the future of Roberto Cavalli, claiming that owner Clessidra is “disengaging from the investment” in the brand and will present a request of “pre-composition with creditors.” This comes, say the unions, “despite the negotiations taking place with the American group Bluestar Alliance.”

The procedure is expected to be deposited on April 1 and the unions warn that it could have “grave repercussions” on the development of the company, putting the future of the workers on-site at risk, without “a guarantee of continuity.” Through the unions, the employees are demanding to avoid mobility schemes and affirm that no pay cuts will be accepted.

“We ask that those who are deciding over the future of more than 270 families be aware of the fact that the management and future of a company must necessarily rely on common sense and a behavior ethically correct toward those employees who for years have worked for a storied made in Florence brand, which is still appreciated in the world by many women,” state the unions. “Given the gravity of the situation,” and to protect the dignity of the employees and the company, the unions have declared a strike to be held on April 1.

A market source contended that the pre-composition “does not put an end to the negotiations” with Blue Star Alliance nor does it mean that the current management, headed by chief executive officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris, will exit the company during this procedure.

Clessidra had no comment on Wednesday.

As reported, this is not the first time the unions have stated their concern over the future of the troubled brand and the production sites in Sesto Fiorentino, outside Florence. Sources believe Philipp Plein is no longer in the running to buy Cavalli, leaving Bluestar Alliance, which has investments in Tahari, Bebe and Catherine Malandrino, as the only suitor. 

Clessidra took control of Cavalli in 2015, but has been looking to exit the fashion business, according to sources. In May 2016, Italmobiliare SpA, the publicly listed investment group owned by the Pesenti family, took control of Clessidra for roughly 20 million euros. Italmobiliare holds and manages a diversified portfolio of investments and equity interests worth more than 2 billion euros.

Creative director Paul Surridge, who had joined Cavalli in 2017, this week confirmed his exit from the brand. 

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