Could Versace be going the way of other iconic family-owned Italian label Valentino, which sold for $852 million last year?
According to WWD, an Italian paper reported that a Korean fund was in talks with Versace chairman Santo Versace to acquire his 30% stake in the company.
Now, Santo Versace has responded, calling the rumors completely false, the trade is reporting.
“I haven’t spoken to anyone about selling my shares and I am not interested in doing so," he said. "My stake is not for sale."
But while Santo may not be selling his shares now, could outside investment be part of the company's future?
There were also rumors, around the same time the company began seeing profits, that it was considering an IPO, or at least some way to finance expansion. At the time, the label’s CEO, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, told WWD the family was "evaluating possible alternatives, talking to advisers and banks," but not seeking a partner, and had "no intention to sell any shares," preferring to keep 100% of the company family-owned.
Twenty-six year old Allegra Versace has the highest stake in the company--50% granted to her in Gianni Versace's will--and the last say in any sale. Santo has 30% and Donatella, 20%.
It seems safe to say Allegra and Donatella are on the same page as Santo, and will be keeping their shares to themselves--at least for now.