Viet Nam News
LONDON — Hallowed Italian fashion house Versace, one of the few remaining big names in the business under family control, is close to a deal to be acquired by growing industry juggernaut Michael Kors, financial media reported yesterday.
Michael Kors, whose roots are in the US but which is headquartered in London, could announce a deal as soon as this week, said the reports, which cited unnamed sources. The news reports varied on the size of the deal, with some saying US$2 billion and one report at $2.4 billion. Some accounts said Donatella Versace, the brand’s iconic leader, would continue to have a role with the company after the deal.
Donatella Versace, artistic director and vice-president of the group, has called a staff meeting in Milan for today, according to the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
The deal would be the latest push by Michael Kors into high-end luxury after it bought Jimmy Choo PLC in 2017 for $1.4 billion. The brand was started in 1981 and named for its founder, who was born in Long Island, New York.
The transaction would be intended to position Michael Kors more fully as a competitor to Paris-based LVMH and Kering and the Swiss company Richemont among global heavyweights in luxury across various product lines, analysts said.
"The news of Versace’s acquisition by Michael Kors Holdings will come as quite a shock to followers, admirers and customers of the iconic Italian brand, which has always been characterized by its fierce narrative and aesthetic as well as its strong family values and independence," said a note from Euromonitor International analyst Florence Allday.
"However, several years of a difficult global luxury climate, declining growth and stiff competition from brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Dior, make the sale less surprising."
Neither Versace nor Kors responded to a request for comment. — AFP