Roberto Cavalli In Talks to Sell Minority Stake in Company

cavalli ss09.jpgLast spring, we told you that Roberto Cavalli, the only fashion designer who makes Christian Lacroix and Emilio Pucci look like a couple of minimalists, was out to sell a minority stake in his company to fund international expansion (or at least cover the costs of a new pet cheetah and a dozen Moscow flagship stores). Word on the street was that the likes of Carlyle and Blackstone were eyeing the beaded, fringed, leopard-printed, bedazzled, lace-edged Cavalli empire, which includes everything from the designer’s runway collection (at right, a look for spring 2009) and Just Cavalli diffusion line to a new snakeskin-printed credit card and Roberto Cavalli Vodka (“It’s limpid, pure, and brilliant as my perfect woman,” said Cavalli in a press release). Now it appears as if he’s found a buyer close to home in Clessidra Capital Partners, a Milan-based private equity fund. Cavalli told the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore that he is close to selling between 15 and 20 percent of the company, which he had previously valued at 1.4 billion euros ($1.84 billion), to Clessidra. “(The idea is to) list ourselves on the market between three and four years,” said Cavalli. “I had to think a lot in these last few weeks, and I believe that it is the best way to ride the recovery after this moment of economic crisis.”

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