PINAULT SAID TO BE IN TALKS WITH CERRUTI

MILAN — Could Francois Pinault be eyeing Nino Cerruti? According to an Italian magazine, the two have been in talks about a possible partnership to ensure the future of the Paris-based fashion house.
The report said Cerruti is being courted by several suitors, but that the designer would prefer to sell his business to a French company. The report, in the weekly financial magazine Il Mondo, said Pinault also promised Cerruti and his son, Julian, autonomy in running the company in the event of a sale.
A spokesman for the Pinault-owned retail giant Pinault-Printemps-Redoute declined to comment, and Cerruti denied he was in talks with the Frenchman.
“I’ve met Pinault once when he came to buy some suits,” Cerruti told WWD through a spokesman. “We are not talking. There is absolutely nothing under discussion.”
Cerruti would not be Pinault’s first foray into high-end fashion. PPR became Gucci Group’s largest shareholder last year after emerging as its white knight during a hostile takeover attempt by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.