MILAN — Roberto Cavalli on Wednesday named Gianluca Brozzetti as chief executive officer and Carlo Di Biagio as chief operating officer of his eponymous fashion group in a move the designer said closed the door on selling a stake in his company to investors.

This story first appeared in the September 17, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“I have always considered the possibility of bringing in managers of [their] caliber…as an alternative to ensure the future growth of my company,” Cavalli stated. “I decided to pursue this road after having closely examined the possibility of opening my capital to investors — a hypothesis which has been put aside for now.”

As reported, Cavalli abandoned plans in August to sell a 30 percent stake in his business to Italian private equity firm Clessidra SGR SpA after disagreeing over price.

Industry veteran Brozzetti, 55, joins Cavalli from Finnish yacht builder Nautor’s Swan, where he was ceo. He has also worked in senior roles at Asprey, Bulgari, Gucci Group and Louis Vuitton, and is an alumnus of McKinsey & Co. and Procter & Gamble Co.

Di Biagio, 57, a former finance director of Procter & Gamble in Italy, joins from board level roles at a number of Italian and international firms and has experience taking companies public, namely motorcycle makers Ducati and Vectrix.

Both have been hired in newly created roles to rationalize the structure of the Cavalli group and further develop the Roberto Cavalli brand in both existing and emerging markets, notably China, the company said.

Cavalli added: “I am convinced that the professionalism of Gianluca Brozzetti and Carlo Di Biagio together with me and my wife’s creativity, will confirm our group as one of the major players in the fashion industry globally and best exploit the Cavalli brand’s potential.”

The appointments follow a challenging six months for the Italian firm, which posted a 19 percent decline in revenues to 87.7 million euros, or $117.1 million, in the first half of 2009. More than half the drop was related to unpaid royalties on the Just Cavalli brand from licensee Ittierre SpA, which went into government-backed administration in February, Cavalli noted.

Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the period.

In 2008, Cavalli’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to 57.4 million euros, or $84.5 million, from 84 million euros, or $115.1 million, a year earlier. Sales in the 12 months through Dec. 31 contracted to 224.2 million euros, or $329.9 million, from 234 million, or $320.1 million. As of June 30, the group’s short-term debt stood at 21.2 million euros, or $31 million, while its long-term debt was 37.9 million euros, or $55.4 million.

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