MILAN — Gianfranco Ferré SpA has a new ceo, Mohamad Iyad Jalab, who succeeds Ahmed Sankari. According to a statement issued on Tuesday, the executive is a veteran of the Dubai-based Paris Group, which is owned by Abdulkader Sankari and his son Ahmed and which controls the storied Italian label.

This story first appeared in the July 11, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The statement said Sankari left his role in April to focus on Paris Group’s “acquisition of new fashion brands” and “the international opening of new Ferré stores.” A new Milan boutique will open by the end of the year, replacing the brand’s venue on Via Sant’Andrea, whose lease was not renewed by the building’s owners, according to the company.

RELATED STORY: Gianfranco Ferré Legal Battle Rages On >>

A legal battle is taking place over the Ferré brand, as the state-appointed commissioners, who oversaw the company’s sale in February 2011 after two years of state-controlled bankruptcy protection, have turned to a Milan court. They are seeking to confiscate the brand to avoid further deterioration of its assets as they believe the label has not been developed by its new owners.

According to sources here, the administrators deem Paris Group may finally reduce the brand to a licensed operation in the Middle East. In May, a court in Isernia, Italy, rejected a request to sequester the brand put forward by the label’s administrators in October, saying it did not have jurisdiction to make a decision in the case. However, a legal source explained that the judge merely deemed Isernia was not the appropriate court to decide on the issue.

According to Ferré’s lawyer, Giuseppe Strano of Milan-based legal studio DCS & Partner, and contrary to media reports, the brand’s owners have invested more than 30 million euros, or $36.8 million at current exchange, in a year, and paid off 97 percent of its debt, as certified by Deloitte & Touche Paris. The debt amounted to 11.6 million euros, or $14.2 million.

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