Versace to Sell Minority Stake Privately Ahead of IPO

Versace Menswear 2013 | Source: Versace

MILAN, Italy — Gianni Versace SpA, the Italian luxury-goods maker weighing options to pay for growth, said it plans to sell a minority stake privately before selling shares to the public in three to five years.

“We decided to open a minority stake sale” before an initial public offering, Chief Executive Officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris said today in Macau, where the Milan, Italy-based company unveiled plans to open a hotel in 2017. “We’re well on track for this,” he said, declining to specify Versace had started talks with potential investors.

Ferraris said in June that the Italian maker of $950 flower-print jeans expected to decide by October or November whether it would sell a minority stake publicly or privately. Versace hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Banca IMI SpA last year to explore growth options.

Versace expects “double-digit” percentage growth in sales in each of the next three to five years, Ferraris said today. In 2012, Versace reported Ebitda of 44.5 million euros ($58.7 million) on revenue of 408.7 million euros.

The company, founded by the late Italian designer of the same name in 1978, has a valuation of about 1.4 billion euros, based on the 32 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, that Qatar’s Mayhoola for Investments SPC paid last year for Valentino Fashion Group SpA.

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: Vinicy Chan; Andrew Roberts; Editors: Stephanie Wong, David Risser