Qatar said to eye stake in Italy's Versace

Qatar's sovereign fund reportedly 'carefully looking at' world famous luxury fashion brand

Qatar Holding and an Italian state-controlled investment fund are interested in investing in Italian fashion house Versace, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Saturday.

The Qatar sovereign fund is "carefully looking at" Versace, the Italian daily said, citing financial sources.

The paper cited market rumours as saying the fund was flanked by FSI, the Italian strategic investment fund owned by state financing company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

In November, Qatar Holding signed a joint venture agreement with FSI to invest in Italian companies in sectors including food, fashion and luxury.

Il Sole said that there were some 10 other expressions of interest for Versace besides that of Qatar and FSI.

But the paper added things were at an early stage and that the Versace owners had not decided yet whether to sell a minority stake.

FSI said it did not comment market rumours. Versace was not immediately available for a comment.

In April, Versace chief executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris told Reuters the house may consider opening the company to outside investors to help fund expansion in overseas markets such as Asia.

Earlier this month Qatar Holding agreed to buy a 40 percent stake in Milan's real estate development project Porta Nuova for an undisclosed sum.

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