Milanese fashion house Versace is reported to be sold to the tune of $2 billion USD later this week, according to a report from Italian publication Corriere della Sera. The newspaper is reporting that Donatella Versace has called a staff meeting for Tuesday where an official announcement will be made.
It has been stated that Michael Kors is the lead suitor for the potential purchase, with Tiffany & Co. as a close second. In recent months, Tapestry, the company that owns Coach, has been in talks with Versace to build a US-based multi-brand fashion conglomerate similar to Paris-based LVMH and Kering, respectively. This move could be the first step towards that destination.
Upon purchase, it’s said the Versace family will still play a role in the company. At this time it’s unclear in what capacity. Blackstone Group LP, who purchased 20 percent of Versace in 2014, plays a part in this deal as well. However, much like Versace’s currently unknown role following a subsequent purchase, it’s unclear if the private equity firm will maintain or sell its stake in Versace.
Donatella Versace and her brother, Santo Versace, have essentially run the company since 1997 when their brother Gianni was murdered. Donatella acts as the company’s lead creative director while Santo works as a company chairman.
Jonathan Akeroyd, Versace’s Chief Executive Officer since 2016 when he was lured away from Alexander McQueen, has been preparing the company for an initial public offering. A Versace IPO has not yet come to pass.
Versace has recently been the toast of sneaker culture given its budding Chain Reaction silhouette conceptualized by former YEEZY designer Salehe Bembury. Since becoming the Head of Sneaker Design at Versace in fall 2016, Bembury has heightened the brand’s sneaker profile tenfold. It’s uncertain if or how his role will change if the company is purchased by Kors or Tiffany.
The former, Kors, last year purchased Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion. The acquisition was the first beyond its namesake brand.
Update 9/25: It’s official. Michael Kors has acquired Italian fashion house Versace for $2.12 billion USD. They will also take on Versace’s debts. Much of the transaction will deal in cash and close in the fourth quarter of 2019. The buying price of $2.1 billion is over two times more than Versace’s current value.
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