Bloomberg News

Cavalli Rules Out Sale Amid Renewed Investor Interest in Luxury

June 24, 2013

Cavalli Group, the Italian fashion house that dressed actress Jennifer Hudson at the Oscars, ruled out selling a stake any time soon, resisting interest from industry buyers, wealthy families and private-equity firms.

“We are on the radar of all these people, but our priority is to work on the business,” Chief Executive Officer Gianluca Brozzetti said in an interview yesterday at a presentation of Cavalli’s spring-summer 2014 menswear collection in Milan. “We are not entertaining any type of conversation with anybody.”

The luxury market will continue to consolidate as financial investors seek to tap rising demand in fast-growing economies and large luxury groups look to benefit from scale, according to Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Mario Ortelli. Potential buyers are “looking at luxury with a lot of interest,” Cavalli said.

Deals this year include Gucci-owner Kering SA (KER)’s acquisitions of ring-maker Pomellato SpA and clothier Christopher Kane, and private-equity fund Clessidra SGR’s purchase of jeweler Buccellati Holding Italia SpA.

Gianni Versace SpA, an Italian maker of $950 flower-print jeans, said yesterday it expects to decide as soon as October if it will sell a minority stake publicly or privately to fund growth. Worldwide luxury sales will rise 4 percent to 5 percent this year as booming demand in Southeast Asia offsets a slowdown in China and Europe, Bain & Co. estimates.

Sales in Cavalli’s stores increased 23 percent between January and the first week of June, or 11 percent on a like-for-like basis, Brozzetti said, citing strong demand in North America, northern Europe and Asia. Southern Europe is beginning to recover after a tough start to the year, he also said.

The maker of $2,305 rayon jackets expects to register similar retail revenue growth in the second half of the year as it increases its store count to about 200, Brozzetti said.

Revenue reached 185 million euros in 2012. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization represented 11 percent of revenue.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Roberts in Milan at aroberts36@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net


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