Italy's Versace to sell minority stake

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is rumoured to be an admirer of fashion house
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Versace, the Italian luxury goods firm that was this year linked with a sale to Qatar, said it will privately sell a minority stake in 2013 before selling shares publicly in the next three to five years.

Earlier this year, Italian media reported that sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holding and an Italian-government controlled investment fun were looking to buy into Versace, which was founded in 1978.

“We decided to open a minority stake sale,” CEO Gia Giacomo Ferraris told reporters in Macau, according to Bloomberg.  “We’re well on track for this.”

Ferraris has previously said that the Milan-based company expected to decide by October or November whether it would sell a minority stake either publicly or privately. Last year Versace hired Goldman Sachs Group and Banca IMI to explore future growth options.

Ferraris added that the company expected “double-digit” percentage growth in sales annually for the next three to five years. Its revenue in 2012 was €408.7m ($539m).

Versace is currently owned by Donatella, Santo and Allegra Versace. It has a valuation of about €1.4bn.

In June this year the company Ferraris told Arabian Business Versace is aiming to increase its sales in the Middle East by 50 percent, part of its goal to nearly double its global revenue and become a $1bn company within the next five years.

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