Versace Said in Talks to Raise 250 Million Euros Via Stake Sale

Versace A/W 2013 | Photo: Sonny Vandevelde

MILAN, Italy — Gianni Versace SpA is in talks to raise about 250 million euros ($333 million) through a stake sale to help finance the fashion house’s expansion, said people with knowledge of the situation.

The Milan-based company is in discussions with IQ Made in Italy Venture, a partnership set up by Qatar Holding LLC and a unit of Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA, said one of the people, who asked not to be named as the matter is private. Versace also is talking with other potential investors, said one of the people.

Qatar Holding, a unit of the Persian Gulf emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, and CDP’s Fondo Strategico Italiano SpA set up the joint venture last year to invest as much as 2 billion euros in Italian companies in industries such as fashion and luxury goods. Versace plans to sell a minority stake privately before offering shares to the public in three to five years, Chief Executive Officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris said this month.

Versace expects “double-digit” percentage growth in sales in each of the next three to five years, Ferraris said last week. Last year, the company generated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 44.5 million euros on revenue of 408.7 million euros. Versace hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Banca IMI SpA last year to explore growth options.

Donatella Versace and her brother Santo Versace have helped run the company known by its Medusa-head logo since their brother Gianni’s murder in 1997. Donatella serves as creative director, while Santo is chairman. Donatella owns 20 percent of Versace, Santo owns 30 percent and Donatella’s daughter Allegra, a non-executive director, owns the rest.

By Andrew Roberts; Editors: Celeste Perri, Mohammed Hadi, Julie Alnwick