Jan 18, 2010
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IT Holding plans to sell Malo unit

Jan 18, 2010

MILAN (Reuters) - Commissioners in charge of Italian fashion company IT Holding (ITH.MI), in administration since last February, will propose to the industry ministry on Monday 18 January a plan to sell its Malo unit and are in talks with unions over layoffs.

Malo spring-summer 2009 in New York - Photo: Pixel Formula

One of the three government-appointed commissioners who have drawn up a plan for the group said they have another two weeks to present their projects for IT Holding's other units, fashion brand Gianfranco Ferre and production unit Ittierre.

"On Monday 18 January ... we will deposit our definitive plan on what to do with Malo," commissioner Andrea Ciccoli told reporters on Sunday 17 January on the sidelines of the Ferre menswear fashion show as part of Milan's autumn/winter 2010/2011 fashion week.

"We already got a lot of interest from many potential investors in the brand and therefore after the official steps are taken we can proceed with the process, which will be a sale process."

A source told Reuters last week the commissioners would present this week a plan to sell Malo, a cashmere brand, which has received about 10 expressions of interest, mainly from Italian buyers and that the sale would be done via an auction.

"For Ferre and Ittierre, we have 15 more days to go before we deposit to the government our intended course of action and all the steps will follow after that," Ciccoli said.

Ittierre makes and distributes clothes for lines such as Just Cavalli and Galliano.

He added talks were ongoing with unions over an "extraordinary cassa integrazione" -- a scheme that allows Italians in large industrial firms to be sent home temporarily on reduced pay. In this case, layoffs can last a few years. "(The figure) is around 450 people for all the group," he said. As part of it menswear show on Sunday 17 January, Ferre presented long coats which were belted at the waist, fur vests, quilted jackets and slim line suits in black, white, gray and khaki.

(Editing by Erica Billingham)

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