Fashion house Versace sells stake to Blackstone to fund growth



Italian fashion house Versace is selling a 20 percent stake to U.S. private equity firm Blackstone (BX.N) for 210 million euros ($287 million), aiming to fund new shops and build on a recent recovery in sales before an eventual stock market listing. The family-controlled brand, which chose pop singer Lady Gaga to promote it last year, struggled for years following the murder of founder Gianni Versace in 1997.

While it returned to profit in 2011, it has lacked the cash to expand rapidly in fast-growing markets abroad.”This is a very large and very well-known brand so it could be revived … but a lot of work has to be done on the creative side,” Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca said in the wake of the deal on Thursday. Read more..