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Fashion house Versace sells stake to Blackstone to fund growth

By Isla Binnie MILAN (Reuters) - Italian fashion house Versace is selling a 20 percent stake to U.S. private equity firm Blackstone <BX.N> for 210 million euros ($287 million), aiming to fund new shops and build on a recent recovery in sales before an eventual stock market listing. The family-controlled brand, which chose pop singer Lady Gaga to promote it last year, struggled for years following the murder of founder Gianni Versace in 1997.

Versace agrees to sell 20% stake in 210m-euro deal

Italian family-run fashion house Versace said on Thursday it had agreed to sell a 20-percent stake to US private equity firm Blackstone in a deal that values the group at 1.0 billion euros ($1.4 billion). The company said in a statement that Blackstone would inject 150 million euros of fresh capital into the label and will also buy 60 million euros' worth of shares from the family holding comipany, Givi.

Versace listing in 3-5 years still on the agenda: CEO

MILAN (Reuters) - A cash injection Versace secured on Thursday from U.S. private equity firm Blackstone will help the Italian fashion house in its planned listing, Versace's chief executive told Reuters. An initial public offering in three to five years is "not mandatory but it is part of the vision of the company", Gian Giacomo Ferraris said. Ferraris was speaking after the company announced Blackstone would take a 20 percent stake in a deal worth 210 million euros ($287 million).

Music stars rock the Grammys red carpet

Music's brightest stars bared lots of skin on the Grammys red carpet in Los Angeles on Sunday, oozing sex appeal and taking fashion risks on the industry's biggest night. Pop princess Katy Perry, who is up for two awards for her girl power anthem "Roar," floated up the red carpet in a gauzy white Valentino gown, with music notes scattered along the skirt. Asked by E! Television's Ryan Seacrest about her performance at the 56th annual Grammy Awards, she said it would be "very spooky."

Blackstone, CCMP and Investcorp vying for Versace stake: sources

By Massimo Gaia MILAN (Reuters) - Blackstone <BX.N>, CCMP Capital and Investcorp <INVB.BH> are the remaining candidates in a bid to buy a stake in Italy's Versace, three sources close to the matter said on Monday. The luxury goods group is selling a stake of about 20 percent ahead of a possible market listing in three to five years to raise funds to open more shops internationally and develop its clothing and accessories ranges.

FSI values Versace at 1.1 billion euros: sources

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's state-backed fund Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI), one of the bidders for a minority stake in Versace, is willing to put in an offer valuing the whole fashion house at 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion), people familiar with the issue said. Versace is selling a stake of around 20 percent ahead of a possible market listing in three to five years. Proceeds from the sale will be used to invest in new shops to take advantage of growing investor appetite for luxury goods.

Versace mansion closes, readies for art exhibit?

The palatial US villa where fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered closed its doors Friday following its multi-million-dollar sale last month, realtors said. Casa Casuarina, where Versace was living when he was shot dead on the steps of the property in 1997, was sold for $41.5 million on September 17 by VM South Beach, a company that owns the neighboring Hotel Victor. A statement released by Coldwell Banker realtors Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber said long-term plans for the opulent residence in one of Miami's most prestigious neighborhoods remained undetermined.

Sexy biker look for Versace at Milan show

Denim, leathers and chains were the look at Versace's Milan Fashion Week show on Friday, as the family-owned brand looks for a possible investor to buy a stake. The company this week said it wanted a minority investor to pump finances into the brand and help develop it further. Its collection for the spring/summer 2014 season was characteristically over the top, edgy and verging on kitsch. "Twenty-first century Versace is boldness, energy, rock and casual luxury," it said in a note after its catwalk show in Milan's fashion district.

Versace plans to find partner by year's end: CEO

By Lisa Jucca and Isla Binnie MILAN (Reuters) - Versace expects to finalize a shortlist for buyers interested in a minority stake in the Italian fashion house by mid-October and decide on a partner by the end of 2013, Chief Executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris said on Friday. The fashion house, whose glittering gowns are worn by stars such as Lady Gaga and Madonna, is seeking to strengthen its balance sheet to help fund expansion in overseas markets such as Asia before a possible listing further down the road.

Versace in search of minority shareholder

Versace is seeking a minority investor, a spokesman at the Italian fashion house still 100-percent by the Versace family confirmed Wednesday, with a source saying 250 million euros ($335 million) could be pumped into the luxury brand. "The company is in the process of seeking a minority investment to bring in financial resources and accelerate development of the brand," said a spokesman, confirming Italian media reports.
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