Michael Kors set to snap up Italy's Versace

Michael Kors set to snap up Italy's Versace

According to Punch, Corriere della Sera, one of Italy's biggest newspapers, shared the news.

Versace, which has been run by Gianni Versace's heirs since his murder 21 years ago, had been eyeing a public listing for several years. Bloomberg reports the buyer as Michael Kors Holdings, which would take over private investor Blackstone's share and preserve the Versace family's involvement.

Donatella Versace, Gianni's sister and the company's artistic director, has reportedly called a staff meeting on Tuesday.

USA fashion group Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. has agreed to take control of Italy's Versace in a deal that could value the company at $2 billion United States, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Blackstone Group LP owns 20 percent of Versace, and it is unclear if they will be selling their stake as well.

Michael Kors, best-known for its leather handbags, has made clear its ambition to grow its stable of high-end fashion brands in an industry still dominated by European players such as Louis Vuitton owner LVMH.

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There was no immediate comment from either of the fashion companies.

Last year, Michael Kors bought Jimmy Choo, the luxury shoemaker founded in London, for nearly £900m. Kors is also trying to purchase Coach owner Tapestry Inc. The Kors brand struggled with a cheap image after it broadly distributed its products to department stores and outlet malls, which heavily discounted its goods. The rest of the company is held by the Versace family.

Versace, known for its flamboyant style and Medusa-head logo, hired CEO Jonathan Akeroyd in 2016 from Alexander McQueen.

The brand has been at its most prominent in years since a hit show last September at Milan Fashion Week.

She holds a 20 per cent stake in the company, her daughter Allegra has a 50 per cent stake, while Santo, Donatella's brother, holds the remaining 30 per cent.

Versace founded his namesake company in 1978 in Milan, growing it into an worldwide powerhouse by the time he was gunned down by a serial killer in 1997.

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