We never thought Versace and Crocs would have anything in common, but today the Italian luxury goods company announced that it had sold a minority stake to Blackstone, the same firm that just invested $200 million in Crocs.
Versace confirmed in September of last year that it wanted to sell a minority stake in order to further grow and expand the brand, and has chosen Blackstone following a “rigorous process of selection,” according to a release sent out Thursday. Blackstone will inject €150 million (about $205 million USD) of fresh capital into the company and own 20 percent of it, while maintaining a seat on the board. This values Versace at €1 billion. The company also noted that it plans to release 2013 financial results next month and that it expects to report an 18 percent increase in revenue to nearly €480 million ($655 million) and EBITDA up more than 50 per cent to at least €69 million ($94 million).
The deal will likely prove quite beneficial to the company and its family stakeholders: Santo Versace (who previously owned a 30 percent stake), Donatella Versace (20 percent) and Donatella’s daughter Allegra Versace Beck (50 percent). While Versace has the recognizability and strong brand identity of labels like Prada and Louis Vuitton, it is much less of powerhouse financially. The investment is designed to give Versace the cash it needs to compete with bigger, more moneyed fashion houses by opening retail stores in existing and emerging markets and further developing its portfolio of brands including Versus Versace, as well as expanding and improving its accessories category and e-commerce.