Valentino IPO rumours hot up after appointment of former Marc Jacobs boss Sebastian Suhl

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Valentino is owned by a Qatari fund but could float in 2018 (Source: Getty)

Italian fashion brand Valentino has moved one step closer to a public listing with the addition of former Marc Jacobs chief executive Sebastian Suhl to its team.

Suhl left LVMH-owned Marc Jacobs in the summer, amid rumours that he was at odds with the brand's eponymous founder. He has since been replaced by former Kenzo boss Eric Marechalle.

But today WWD reported that Suhl would be joining Valentino as managing director for global markets. The appointment puts a public listing, which has previously been discussed by chief executive Stefano Sassi, back on the table.

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The company, which is owned by the State of Qatar through investment fund Mayhoola, has been considering an IPO since last year but is understood to be holding off until the latter half of 2018 in expectation of better market conditions.

Sassi said this year that the project had been ruled out for the time being and was not being discussed internally, but that the brand would "see what happens" in 2018.

It was bought by Qatar in 2012 at a value of €700m (£621m).

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