Is Michael Kors buying Versace for $2bn?

Versace for sale? Italy's family fashion house rumoured to be bought out

Donatella Versace, the firm's artistic director and vice-president, has called a staff meeting in Milan for Tuesday, Corriere della Sera reported.

Sources confirmed Kors is close to buying Versace for about 2 billion euros, a deal that is expected to close this week.

"We believe that the North America retail environment remains highly promotional, which is impacting the long-term brand equity of Michael Kors", Chief Executive John Idol told analysts in 2016, according to a FactSet transcript.

The Versace family controls 80 percent of the company while Blackstone owns the remaining 20 percent.

But word that a deal is close sent Kors shares down nearly 9 per cent to as low as $US66.33 in NY on Monday, the biggest intraday drop since May 30.

Versace declined to comment.

Tropical Storm Kirk gaining speed in Atlantic
The storm is expected to reach the Lesser Antilles still at tropical storm strength by Friday, though some weakening is expected. Subtropical Storm Leslie , which formed before noon on Sunday, is maintaining its maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour .

The Italian fashion icon had been considering a market listing after US private equity group Blackstone bought a 20 percent stake back in 2014 to fund overseas expansion.

French fashion houses including Paris-based Kering were among those holding talks with the Versace family, the sources said, but considered the price too expensive. Donatella herself owns 30 percent of the holding, with the remainder in the hands of her brother Santo.

Versace, which makes more than half of its sales in Asia, would be a crown jewel for Michael Kors Holdings (kors), which a year ago purchased shoe brand Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion. "It was overpriced", the source said.

Those iconic $2,000-a-pop Gianni Versace gold-colored jackets once worn only by Hollywood elites, including Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and Madonna, may soon become more affordable. A spokesman for Blackstone had no comment.

The fashion house, founded by designer Gianni Versace in 1978, posted sales of €686 million in 2017 with net profits of €15 million. The 40-year-old fashion house returned to profit in 2017 and reported revenue of almost $800 million.

She presented her latest collection for next spring and summer last Friday during Milan Fashion Week and was honored on Sunday by the Italian Fashion Chamber.

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