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Michael Kors To Buy Versace For $2.4B

Michael Kors Holdings plans to acquire Italian fashion house Gianni Versace for about $2.4B. The move would establish a presence in European high fashion for the American company, as well as give it ownership of Versace's boutiques around the world.


Other potential buyers were in talks to buy Versace, such as Tiffany & Co., PVH Corp. and Tapestry, but they withdrew, the Wall Street Journal reports. The price was considered a bit steep for the Italian company, which has been seeing lackluster returns lately. Last year, Versace made about $17.6M in profit on $822M in revenue.

As part of the deal, Blackstone Group would sell the 20% stake in Versace that it acquired in 2014, Bloomberg reports. The Versace family owns the balance of the company.

Including licensed locations, there are 1,000 Michael Kors stores worldwide. As of the second quarter, Michael Kors operated 847 retail stores, with an addition 153 stores operated through licensing partners.

The company also owns the Jimmy Choo brand, which operates 191 retail stores, with an additional 61 retail stores operated through licensing partners. Michael Kors acquired the brand last year for $1.2B.

Last year, Michael Kors announced plans to close between 100 and 125 of its full-priced stores over the next two years, citing increased competition from discount retailers.

The Versace Group distributes its products worldwide at over 200 boutiques in major cities and via over 1,500 wholesalers. 

Donatella Versace has been the artistic director of Versace since 1997, following the murder of founder Gianni Versace, her brother. It isn't clear yet whether she will remain in that position after the change in ownership.

In 2000, Gianni Versace Spa opened Palazzo Versace in Queensland, Australia, which the company said was the first hotel project branded by a luxury goods company. The second Palazzo Versace opened in 2015 in Dubai and another is planned for Macau.