All American brand Michael Kors snaps up Versace

28 Sep 2018 , 6:40pm

In what is one of the biggest luxury deals of the year, Michael Kors has bought Versace.

Versace goes to Michael Kors

Michael Kors Holdings is to acquire Italian fashion company Gianni Versace SpA for 1.83 billion euros (£1.6bn), catapulting the American luxury company into the realm of fashion conglomerates defined by giants Kering and LVMH Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. 

Expansion plans

The company, to be renamed Capri Holdings after the Italian island, said it plans to increase Versace’s sales to $2 billion annually, more than double the current level. The number of stores globally will grow from 200 to about 300, with investment in the company’s e-commerce development. 'The acquisition of Versace is an important milestone for our group,” Michael Kors Chief Executive Officer John Idol said in a statement. “We are committed to investing in its growth.'

Top legal guns

The deal saw some top legal guns represent the main players. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Milan law firms Chiomenti and Effevi Legal represented the vendors, GiVi Holdings, Donatella Versace and Versace CEO Jonathan Akeroyd. Meanwhile top M&A US law firm Wachtell Lipton advised Michael Kors whilst Orsingher Ortu oversaw the Italian aspects of the deal. Corporate partner Francesco Gianni from Gianni Origoni advised Blackstone on the disposal of its 20 per cent equity stake in the company.

Acquisition trail

The Versace deal is the third billion-euro acquisition made by Kors or chief competitor Tapestry Inc. over the last year, as the two rivals shop for high-profile fashion labels to add to their portfolios. Stuart Weitzman-owning Tapestry bought handbag brand Kate Spade for $2.4 billion last year and Kors later purchased luxury shoe company Jimmy Choo for around $1.2 billion.

Creative vision

Versace is still controlled by the family of Gianni, who was killed in Miami in 1997. Donatella Versace, his 63-year-old sister, is the house’s creative director and will, continue to lead the company’s creative vision,’  Mr Idol said.