Michael Kors ups the glamour, buys Versace for US$2B

Irving Hamilton
September 25, 2018

Milanese fashion house Versace has been bought out by U.S. luxury fashion firm Michael Kors in a deal worth $2.1billion (£1.53billion), it was confirmed today.

The 1.83 billion euro deal was hotly anticipated and adds the Italian brand's maximalist sensibility to its portfolio, which includes Michael Kors as well as Jimmy Choo, which was acquired for $1.2 billion past year.

Shares in New York-listed Michael Kors, which previous year acquired show brand Jimmy Choo for £896million, fell by more than 8 per cent on the rumours yesterday.

"We believe that the strength of the Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo brands, and the acquisition of Versace, position us to deliver multiple years of revenue and earnings growth", said John D Idol, chief executive of Michael Kors.

The Versace family, which now owns 80 percent of the fashion house via a holding company called Givi, will receive 150 million euros of the purchase price in Capri shares. For over 40 years, Versace has represented the epitome of Italian fashion luxury, a testament to the brand's timeless heritage ...

Versace is now 80% controlled by the late designer's family, with private equity firm Blackstone holding a 20% stake.

"With the full resources of our group, we believe that Versace will grow to over $2.0 billion in revenues", he added.

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Donatella Versace, the brand's artistic director and sister of founder Gianni Versace, will continue to lead the creative side of the business.

Versace boss Jonathan Akeroyd will also remain in place along with the rest of the brand's senior management.

The transaction, which is expected to be closed in the fourth quarter, singles big changes for what is now Capri.

The deal is the latest push by Michael Kors into high-end luxury after it bought British shoemaker to the stars Jimmy Choo in 2017 for $1.4 billion.

Michael Kors, best known for its bags, watches and perfume, said it planned to grow the number of Versace stores worldwide by 50 percent to 300.

Versace does not disclose its financial details, but documents deposited with the Italian chamber of commerce show that previous year it posted sales of 668 million euros and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and appreciation (EBITDA) of 45 million euros.

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