Versace set to be sold to Michael Kors in $2bn deal

The Italian fashion house Versace founded by Gianni Versace 40 years ago, is expected to be sold to the US handbag and clothing brand Michael Kors for $2bn (£1.5bn).

The agreement, expected to be announced on Tuesday morning, will see the Versace family selling alongside US private equity firm Blackstone, which took a 20 per cent stake in Versace in 2014. The $2bn valuation includes net debt.

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera first reported the impending sale earlier on Monday that Versace family still owns 80% of the company following the sale of a 20% stake to the US private equity group Blackstone for €210m in 2014. Of the remaining stake, Allegra owns 50%, her mother and Gianni’s sister, Donatella Versace, owns 20% and Gianni’s older brother, Santo, owns 30%.

Last year, Michael Kors bought Jimmy Choo, the luxury shoemaker founded in London, for almost £900m.

Gianni Versace was 50 when he was murdered outside his Miami mansion in July 1997 by Andrew Cunanan.

Donatella Versace, the firm’s artistic director and vice-president, has reportedly called a staff meeting in Milan for Tuesday, Corriere della Sera reported. Versace reported sales of €686m in 2016. Chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd said earlier this year that annual turnover was soon expected to exceed €1bn.

Versace, famous for its Medusa-head logo, remains mostly in the hands of Donatella Versace, 63 — sister of founder Gianni Versace who was murdered in 1997 in Miami Beach — Santo Versace, 73, Gianni’s brother, and Allegra Versace Beck, 32, Gianni’s niece.

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