ARMANI DENIES CVC DEAL SET BUT SAYS TALKS ARE CONTINUING

Byline: Sara Gay Forden

MILAN — Giorgio Armani has denied that he’s concluded any agreement with CVC Capital Partners, the venture capital firm that has bid to acquire GFT SpA. Armani said he had made no deal to back CVC’s bid for GFT in exchange for help in financing the restructuring of Simint, the money-losing jeans manufacturer in which the designer holds a 23 percent stake.
Armani did admit, however, that he’d held discussions with CVC.
“I’ve never considered the possibility of taking a shareholder interest in GFT. I would never do that,” Armani also told WWD.
The designer’s denials came in response to an announcement by CVC, which is associated with American banking giant Citicorp, that it had a pact with Armani.
As reported, there were rumors here last week in the wake of the CVC announcement that a deal between Armani and CVC involved the offer of a long-term Armani license to GFT in exchange for a $19.2 million (30 billion lire) capital injection into Simint.
“As far as I am concerned, CVC could be a partner for GFT regardless of the valuation they make of Simint, just as they could be interested in Simint separately from GFT,” Armani said.
“They are interested in both GFT and in Simint, and given that I am also interested in these two companies, I am talking with them,” he added.
GFT is Italy’s biggest manufacturer of designer labels, producing for such top names as Calvin Klein, Claude Montana, Emanuel Ungaro and Valentino, in addition to Armani.
Simint makes the Armani jeans line, along with several minor labels.
— Fairchild News Service

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