Gianni Versace SpA, better known as Versace, has signed an agreement with private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, in which the US firm obtains a 20 percent stake in the Italian fashion house, valuing the company at 1 billion euros.
Blackstone will also inject 150 million euros of fresh capital into Versace and acquire 60 million euros of shares from the family holding company Givi and will have one seat on the family's company board. In a press release sent out this morning, the company stressed that the Versace family would remain “at the heart of the company.”
Donatella Versace, group creative director commented: “I am very pleased to work with Blackstone and, in particular, with Stephen Schwarzman, whom I admire for his achievements and who shares the family’s vision for the development of Versace.”
Since the fashion house's founder Gianni Versace murder in 1997, his remaining family has owned the company, with his niece Allegra Versace Beck, his sister Donatella Versace and his brother Santo Versace holding 50 percent, 20 percent and 30 percent stakes respectively. All three will remain in the current roles at the company.
“We have gained a strong and unique positioning in luxury fashion, and I believe that this investment in the Company, together with our clear direction and our outstanding management team, will enable us to achieve Versace’s potential,” added Donatella.
The Italian fashion house managed to turn around years of declining profits in 2011, thanks to a numbers of changes implemented by chief executive officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris, who joined the company in 2009. He adds that with “Blackstone’s investment, we can leverage to take the company to the next level.”
Versace plans to invest its capital in its retail store network in its current markets, as well as emerging markets and aims to develop the company's portfolio of brands, in particular Versus Versace, as well as its product offering, focusing on expanding accessories and enhancing its e-commerce business.
Stephen A Schwarzman, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, said: “We are delighted to be involved with this exceptional business, and are committed to helping Versace realize its strong growth potential around the world. We look forward to helping Donatella and the management achieve their goals.”
Versace is set to release its 2013 results at the end of next month. The company revealed today that it predicts to announce revenues rose approximately 18 percent last year to nearly 480 million euros, while EBITDA increased more than 50 percent to roughly 69 million euros.