Italian fashion label Versace is looking into bringing external investors into the company. This could be done by bringing the company to the stock exchange. The extra funds could be used to make the company grow faster, especially in Asia.
Turning point for family business
The fashion label, founded by Gianni Versace in 1978, is at a turning point: will the company – currently owned by Allegra Versace (50%), her mother Donatella (20%) and her uncle Santo (30%) – remain a family business or will it be (partly) sold to others? The latter would allow the company to grow faster, said CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris.
The Versace empire is on the right course once again: in 2008 the company went into red figures. With the appointment of Ferraris, formerly at Gucci and Jil Sander, the tide turned: the new CEO decided to lay off 350 of the 1300 employees, to reorganise shops that were making a loss and to expand in Asia, a region that currently provides for 40% of all sales.
No more red figures, towards record sales
The new course paid off: in 2012 Versace achieved a total sales figure of 408.7 million euro, 20% more than the year before. The company wants to reach sales of half a billion euro by 2014. Profits also went in the right direction, rising from 7.9 million euro in 2011 to 8.5 million euro in 2012.
According to Reuters, the value of the group can currently be estimated at 690 million euro. If the goal of 500 million euro in sales is reached, then the value could rise to one billion euro, making it difficult for investors to invest.
Sources close to the family say the currentpreference is to have a limited public offering. That way new shareholders would have the possibility of getting a minority stake in the company. It is not clear when the definitive decision will be made.