Michael Kors to Buy Versace for $2.1 Billion

 

Today, Michael Kors Holdings LTD announced it would purchase all outstanding shares of Versace for a reported $2.1 billion. The move creates a new global fashion conglomerate which will be called, Capri Holdings Limited.

The First American Luxury Conglomerate

The move marks the creation of the first American luxury fashion conglomerate able to compete on the level of the French LVMH (owner of Louis Vitton, Pucci, Givenchy, Bulgari, and Fendi) and Kering (owner of Saint Laurent, Gucci, Brioni, and Balenciaga). In its own right, Michael Kors LTD now owns Versace and Jimmy Choo.

Versace Excited to Join Michael Kors

Since the murder of her famed husband Gianni Versace in 1997, creative director Donatella Versace has been running the Versace company. According to reports, Donatella called the moment, “very exciting” and claimed she believed the move would “allow Versace to reach its full potential.”

Michael Kors Chief Executive Officer and chairman John Idol shared the sentiment in a statement where he remarked, “We are excited to have Versace as part of our family of luxury brands, and we are committed to investing in its growth. With the full resources of our group, we believe that Versace will grow to over US$2.0 billion in revenues.” If such projections hold – and Jimmy Choo reaches $1 billion, and Kors another $5 billion – the effort would go a long way toward balancing the company portfolio.

Fans Upset by the Move

Not all are as excited to see Versace – an Italian brand – sell to an American company however. For many, France and Italy are the benchmarks of high fashion. Once the sale was announced on Tuesday, Italian fans flooded Donatella’s Instagram feed to voice outrage. For Italians, fashion is a rich source of national pride. And selling one of Italy’s most esteemed and beloved brands to an American company was seen as sacrilege.

A Noteworthy Brand

The brand has been traditionally beloved by the more glitzy of famous celebrities as well. Two of Versace’s biggest fans were notably Michael Jackson and Princess Diana. In fact, when Gianni passed away in 1997 Princess Diana attended the funeral along-side Elton John, who was also a major admirer of the brand.

The move reportedly aims to expand Versace’s global retail stores from 200 to 300 and to expand the more lucrative accessories and footwear from 30%, to 60% of company’s revenue.

The deal will be underwritten by advisors from J.P. Morgan Chase and Barclays.

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