Update 25/9: Michael Kors has bought Versace for USD $2.1 billion (AUD $2.9 billion)in a move Donatella Versace describes as “a very exciting moment” that will “allow Versace to reach its full potential. She will remain at the helm of the creative vision. As the deal closes, Michael Kors will be renamed to Capri Holdings.
ORIGINAL STORY: Every season, Donatella Versace is asked the same question: Is this collection your swan song? Many predicted she would step-down and sell her billion-dollar empire in 2017, a milestone year which marked twenty years since her brother Gianni was killed and subsequently her dual-decade tenure as the brand’s creative director. But in an exclusive essay she penned for GRAZIA in September last year, Donatella spoke of how she felt the strongest point in her career was yet to come, silencing any rumours of an exit.
Predictably, hot off the heels of Versace’s Spring 2019 runway show in Milan, rumours were rife again that Versace is set to be acquired by an exterior company. According to a Bloomberg report, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd is looking to strengthen its portfolio of luxury brands and the iconic Italian house could very well be its newest addition in a deal rumoured to be worth approximately US $2 billion (AUD $2.76 billion). (To put this into perspective, Michael Kors bought luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo last year for US$1.2 billion (AUD $1.65 billion).)
If the deal goes ahead – and it is expected to within the next couple of days – the Versace family could still have a role within the company, albeit a lot smaller. As it currently stands, Versace own 80% of the business andUS private equity group Blackstone the remaining 20%. If Michael Kors acquire the house, Blackstone will sell its stake.
Other companies with their eye reportedly on Versace are Tiffany & Co., LVMH, PVH Corp and Tapestry.
More to come.