MILAN — There are four bids for Malo on the table.

This story first appeared in the June 7, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The three state-appointed administrators of the brand said four Italian parties are interested in buying the cashmere knitwear firm. Final offers were submitted on Thursday, following a public auction approved by Italy’s minister of economic development and a one-month due diligence investigation.

Administrators Andrea Ciccoli, Roberto Spada and Stanislao Chimenti said they will consider the offers over the next few days with advisers Mediobanca and Sin&rgetica. The administrators said they will particularly value the reliability of the bidders and their plans to grow the firm and avoid job cuts.

A detailed list of bidders was not made available. According to sources, the following have expressed interest in Malo: sock and knitwear company Ciocca, founded in 1912 and located near Brescia, Italy, which also controls the Drumohr brand; Enzo D’Addario, who owns one of Italy’s main auto dealers; entrepreneur Michele Prestipino through his firm Partecipazioni e Investimenti, and luxury retailer group Evante.

Ningxia Zhongyin Cashmere Co. Ltd. of China, which last year took control of Todd & Duncan from Dawson International plc, was also said to be looking at the dossier, but last month denied any interest in the company.

Malo’s parent company, IT Holding SpA, which also controls the Gianfranco Ferré label and manufacturing arm Ittierre SpA, has been in government-backed bankruptcy protection since February 2009. Both Ferré and Ittierre, which produces the Just Cavalli, C’N’C Costume National, Galliano and Ermanno Ermanno Scervino collections, will also be publicly auctioned and are expected to be sold this summer.

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