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Michael Kors poised to buy Versace for $2bn

Lauretta Roberts
24 September 2018

Michael Kors is poised to acquire Italian luxury house Versace for $2bn, according to reports in the Italian media.

The Corriere della Sera has reported that the deal will be announced tomorrow and Donatella Versace has called a meeting for staff to inform them of the details.

At present Versace is owned by the Italian family with private equity house Blackstone holding a 20% stake. It is believed Blackstone will divest its stake and the Versace family will retain a minority stake and some creative control of the brand, which was founded by Donatella Versace's late brother Gianni Versace in 1978.

The brand went on to gain global acclaim for its bold prints and high-octane glamour and was one of the first luxury houses to exploit the power of celebrity and the supermodel.

Reuters claims to have had confirmation of the deal from people close to the businesses that the deal is going ahead. If true, it would be another considerable step for the Michael Kors Group in its ambition to create a luxury brand house.

In July of last year, the group acquired British luxury footwear and accessories brand Jimmy Choo, from former owner JAB Luxury for $1.35bn.

Versace, which is headed by former Alexander McQueen CEO Jonathan Akeroyd, had been understood to be exploring the option to float the business but had pulled back from the idea due to unfavourable market conditions.

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