Michael Kors to take control of Versace, say sources

Versace on verge of sale to Michael Kors

According to multiple reports, affordable luxury brand Michael Kors Holdings is closing in on a deal to snatch up the Italian luxury brand for an estimated $2 billion.

Givi in turn is half-owned by Allegra Versace Beck, daughter of Donatella and niece of late founder Gianni. The Medusa head Italian fashion house drew interest from several companies, but it appears that Kors has reached the most complex negotiations of the bunch.

London-based Kors past year snapped up shoemaker Jimmy Choo for about £896 million pounds (NZ$1,77 million), expanding beyond its namesake brand.

Last year, the American group bought Jimmy Choo - whose stilettos were made famous by TV series Sex and the City - for $1.35bn.

The Italian fashion icon has been considering a market listing after US private equity group Blackstone bought a 20 percent stake in 2014 to fund overseas expansion, although Chief Executive Jonathan Akeroyd told Reuters earlier this year there was no rush for an IPO.

The family will reportedly retain a role after the takeover. Bloomberg and Reuters news agencies later reported the buyer would be fashion group Michael Kors.

A representative for Versace declined to comment on the potential transaction.

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Neither Versace or Michael Kors are yet to release a statement regarding the sale at this present time. A spokesman for Blackstone had no immediate comment.

The Versace family controls 80 percent of the company while Blackstone owns the remaining 20 percent.

Versace had planned to float the company on the stock market but put the plans on hold owing to unfavourable conditions. However, Versace has struggled to grow sales, despite a luxury-fashion boom led by Chinese consumers.

LVMH, PVH Corp. and Tapestry also looked at Versace in recent months, according to a report on Sunday by Women's Wear Daily.

Versace's net profit last year was just under $22.7 million, compared with a net loss of $12 million the previous year.

Italian Fashion House Versace opens the Haute Couture Fashion Week.

Versace was founded by Gianni Versace in 1978.

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