Troubled fashion house Roberto Cavalli has been acquired by a Dubai-based property developer.
Bosses at the Italian brand, known for its exotic prints and sand-blasted jeans, announced in late March that they were closing all stores across North America and were seeking to make a deal with creditors to keep the company going while they searched for an investor.
After months of speculation over who may take over the label, editors at WWD reported on Tuesday that executives at Vision Investment Co. LLC had signed a “binding agreement” with those at the Florence-based Roberto Cavalli to “acquire 100 per cent” of the company.
Vision Investment Co. is overseen by Hussain Sajwani, an Emirati billionaire property developer, who is the founder and chairman of real estate development company DAMAC Properties. Based in Dubai, the company provides residential, commercial and leisure properties and has presences across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, and the U.K.
As the deal is a complex one, with some aspects to be approved by a court in Milan, the fashion publication reported that lawyers for Cavalli need to make an agreement with creditors by early August, with the arrangement to be finalised the following month.
No financial details about the deal have been announced.
Since 2015, Italian private equity fund Clessidra SGR has controlled Roberto Cavalli with a 90 per cent stake, along with other minor partners, including the Florentine designer himself.
Former Versace executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris was brought onboard in July 2016 to help turn around the company, and following the departure of creative director Peter Dundas, British designer Paul Surridge was employed as head designer in May 2017. However, Surridge confirmed plans to exit his post in March, and a successor has not yet been named.
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