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Reportedly, the agreement for the acquisition of the luxury Italian fashion house by U.S. based Michael Kors is to be officially announced imminently.
First released by Italian media, Il Corriere della Serra, the acquisition is estimated at US$2 billion but no official communication has yet been released by the concerned parties. Founded by Italian stylist Gianni Versace in 1978, the brand has been run by his sister Donatella since his death in 1997, with some difficulties and major reorganisations. Versace’s sales increased from €268 million in 2009 to €668.7 million in 2016, but stagnated in 2017; the Italian fashion house posted a profit of €15 million, after a loss of €7.4 million in the previous year. Currently, Versace is owned 20% by U.S. based Blackrock Fund and the rest by the family.
As Michael Kors acquired footwear brand Jimmy Choo in 2017 some market analysts say the Group is aiming to become the U.S. equivalent of Kering in France and Richemont in Switzerland, but that ‘without the strength of a conglomerate’, it will be very difficult for Versace to compete with Italian rivals such as Gucci. Shares of Michael Kors are reported to have declined -8.83% at the New York Stock Exchange.
Versace was one of the few independent luxury brands remaining in Italy. Over the past 20 years, Italian fashion houses such as Gucci, Fendi, Bottega Veneta or Loro Piana have fallen under French control.
Source: Nouvel Obs