Versace eyes float or sale to fund growth

City A.M. Reporter
ITALIAN fashion house Versace, one of the last family-owned luxury groups, may consider opening the company to outside investors to help fund expansion in overseas markets such as Asia, its chief executive said yesterday.

Gian Giacomo Ferrari said a stock market listing, mirroring those of larger peers Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo, could be a way to fund more aggressive store openings.

“We are aware that it could be a road but not immediately,” he said.

Founded in 1978 by the late Gianni Versace, the group faces the same dilemma as peers such as Missoni, Roberto Cavalli and Giorgio Armani – to keep the business in the family or give up some control in return for the investment needed to catch up with rivals that have taken that path.

It hired advisers last year to advise it on strategic options but concerns over control of the group are said to have stalled the progress.

Ferrari’s comments came as the group said total sales rose 20 per cent to €408.7m (£346m) last year.