Roberto Cavalli bought by Dubai property group
Roberto Cavalli has a new owner. Vision Investments, the investment firm of the president of DAMAC Properties, Hussain Sajwani, has officially announced the acquisition of the Italian luxury label. The transaction involved the totality of the shares of Roberto Cavalli SpA, in which, until yesterday, the Clessidra investment fund held a stake of over 90%.
“We are excited about carrying forward the incredible legacy of the Roberto Cavalli brand. DICO has a long and fruitful association with Roberto Cavalli, and I believe that the brand resonates with our idea of luxury,” said Hussain Sajwani, the Dubai businessman who, in 2002, founded real estate developer DAMAC Properties.
“I am happy to announce that the transaction was executed swiftly and that we will ensure stability in management,” added Sajwani, who is ranked 962nd in the Forbes Billionaire 2019 ranking, and is regarded as one of the UAE’s wealthiest individuals.
The acquisition was carried out by investment firm Vision Investments, like DAMAC owned by DICO Group, which was founded in 1992 as Sajwani’s private investment company. In 2017, DAMAC commissioned to Roberto Cavalli the interior design of the first Aykon Hotel in Dubai’s Marina.
The acquisition of Roberto Cavalli is DICO’s first foray into the world of fashion. The group has a broad portfolio of equity holdings worldwide, and it plans to invest approximately $3 billion in the next few years in key markets such as Europe and the USA.
Sajwani's group won the race for Roberto Cavalli leaving behind other contestants, among them Renzo Rosso’s OTB and US group Bluestar Alliance. The Clessidra investment fund put Roberto Cavalli up for sale after several attempts at relaunching the label. The position of Roberto Cavalli’s current CEO, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, who took on the task of reviving the ailing label in 2016, seems for the time being safe.
Roberto Cavalli recorded losses for €33.7 million in 2017, and is emerging from a period of savage cost-slashing, with extensive cuts to the design, marketing and commercial budgets. After Creative Director Paul Surridge stepped down, the label was left without a head of design and, in April, its US subsidiary ceased trading.
The recovery plan presented by Roberto Cavalli, supported by the new owner, has convinced the Milan trade court, which deemed the “time-frame of the restructuring operation extremely brief and credible,” and was sure of the company’s “ability to pay back creditors as agreed.” The thorny issue of possible job cuts at Roberto Cavalli’s Italian factories and at its headquarters in Osmannoro, near Florence, is still unresolved.
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