Roberto Cavalli Acquired by Private Equity Firm

After talking to multiple buyers over the past year, Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli has agreed to sell a 90 percent stake to Italian private equity firm Clessidra S.p.A.
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Lauren Indvik
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After talking to multiple buyers over the past year, Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli has agreed to sell a 90 percent stake to Italian private equity firm Clessidra S.p.A.
Roberto Cavalli in 2014. Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Roberto Cavalli in 2014. Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Roberto Cavalli has finally found a buyer. On Thursday, the Italian fashion house announced that it has agreed to sell a 90 percent stake to a consortium of investors led by Italian private equity firm Clessidra S.p.A. Founder Roberto Cavalli will retain ownership of the remaining 10 percent.

Over the past year, Roberto Cavalli has reportedly been in talks with multiple private equity firms to sell majority control of the company — including London-based firm Permira and, after talks faltered there, Bahrain-based Investcorp and then Russia's VTB Capital. In December, Clessidra announced that it was in exclusive talks with the company regarding an acquisition, which it hoped to complete by March. This isn't the first time Clessidra and Cavalli have discussed a financial partnership: The Italian equity firm was reportedly in talks to acquire a 30 percent stake back in 2009.

It will be a new era for Cavalli, which brought Peter Dundas back to the label as creative director just last month after a 7-year stint at Pucci. (He previously served as creative director of the house from 2002 to 2005.) Earlier this month, Clessidra announced that it had hired former Bulgari CEO Francesco Trapani as executive vice-chairman; now, he will be assuming the role of chairman of Cavalli, while Coty President Renato Semerari will be leaving the beauty conglomerate to be its new CEO.

We should get a better idea of Cavalli's new direction in September, when Dundas will unveil his first ready-to-wear collection following his return.