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Roberto Cavalli Acquired by Dubai Developer

Vision Investment Co. LLC has entered a deal to buy 100% of the Italian company.
Models at Roberto Cavalli's Fall 2019 show. Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Models at Roberto Cavalli's Fall 2019 show. Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Roberto Cavalli has a new owner. Amid financial troubles and without a creative director, the Italian house has been sold to Vision Investment Co., the investment company of Dubai-based billionaire Hussain Sajwani, who owns Damac Properties Group, a rapidly growing real estate development firm. According to WWD, Vision has signed a binding agreement to acquire 100% of Roberto Cavalli S.p.A. for an undisclosed amount. (Though sources cited by WWD peg it at "around 160 million euros.")

The announcement follows a rocky period for the Florence-based brand. Earlier this year, it filed for bankruptcy in Italy and the U.S. and closed all of its U.S. stores. In March, Paul Surridge left his post as creative director after just two years on the job.

Since 2015, the company has been controlled by Italian private equity firm Clessidra, which has since been acquired by investment group Italmobiliare. WWD reports that Vision's was one of five offers Roberto Cavalli received, which included Renzo Rosso's OTB and Bluestar Alliance, which owns Tahari and Bebe. The trade also notes that Damac had been working with the Roberto Cavalli brand to design rooms in the five-star hotel towers it's developing.

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The exact logistics of the transfer of ownership have yet to be ironed out, like whether the brand will keep the same headquarters and employees, but a relaunch of the company is reportedly part of the deal.

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