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Roberto Cavalli Deal Chatter Grows

A source speculated the designer could be looking to sell a majority stake — close to 80 percent of the company.

CAVALLI CHATTER GROWS: Is Roberto Cavalli nearing a deal to sell his brand? A market source said talks could be entering their final stages, while another said that discussions have resumed after a recent slowdown and are picking up speed again.

A source speculated Cavalli could be looking to sell a majority stake — close to 80 percent of the company. The main hurdle continues to be the firm’s valuation, according to a source. In August 2009, Cavalli abandoned plans to sell a 30 percent stake in his business to Italian private equity firm Clessidra SGR SpA after disagreeing over price.

As for who is likely to buy the brand, the rumor that private equity fund Permira is looking at the Cavalli dossier just won’t go away. Permira was said to be on the short list of investors seeking a minority stake in Versace, which was eventually sold to Blackstone Group. Permira, which owns brands including Hugo Boss and New Look, in October agreed to acquire R. Griggs Group Ltd., parent of the Doc Martens brand. A Permira spokeswoman said “the fund does not comment on market rumors,” while the Cavalli Group had no comment.

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