Valentino bought by Qatari royals
THE FASHION house Valentino became the latest in a long line of famous brands to pass out of Italian hands yesterday when it was bought by Qatar’s royal family for a reported €700 million.
It was the second renowned Italian design firm in two years to be snapped up by Gulf investors.
Valentino Garavani (80), the firm’s founder, showed his last collection in 2008. In 1998 he and partner Giancarlo Giammetti had sold the firm for about €245 million to an Italian conglomerate.
The Valentino brand first won prominence in the 1960s with gowns worn by Princess Margaret, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Audrey Hepburn.
A spokesperson for the new owners, Mayhoola for Investments, was quoted by the news agency Ansa as saying: “Their ability to combine aesthetics and the values defined by [Valentino] with a sophisticated contemporary vision, has made the brand extremely relevant today.”
Hinting at further expansion, the spokesperson said the Qatari investment group saw Valentino as the “ideal base for creating a broader presence in the luxury goods sector”.
In 2002 the Valentino fashion group had been bought by the Milan textiles firm Marzotto. Five years later, the private equity fund Permira took a majority stake in the group, which then included the German menswear brand Hugo Boss.
Mayhoola bought up both Permira’s stake and Marzotto’s minority interest.
Their holding in Hugo Boss was left out of the deal. – (Guardian service)