[December 05, 2013]MILAN (Reuters) — Italy's state-backed
fund Fondo Strategico Italiano, one of the bidders for a
minority stake in Versace, is willing to put in an offer valuing the
whole fashion house at 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion), people
familiar with the issue said.
Versace is selling a stake of around 20 percent ahead of a possible
market listing in three to five years. Proceeds from the sale will
be used to invest in new shops to take advantage of growing investor
appetite for luxury goods.
People involved in the deal have said FSI is very keen to secure the
Versace deal. Its current valuation comes at the high end of what
analysts say the fashion house may be worth.
Another source close to the matter said the company was looking at a
valuation of at least 1 billion euros from the stake.
Other potential buyers for the minority stake include private equity
firms Permira, Ardian, CCMP Capital, Blackstone <BX.N>, and
Santo Versace, one of the owners, last week expressed hopes a new
investor could emerge by Christmas.
But several sources familiar with the issue said, however, the
bidding process for Versace was still very open and that the whole
process would likely drag on into January and February.
"This is not something that is going to happen over the next few
days," said one of the sources.