Will Investcorp’s shopping habits start catching the eye again?

Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli is reportedly in talks with Investcorp with regards to possibly selling the Gulf-based investment firm a stake in the company. This comes off the back of failed discussions between Permira, the European private equity firm, and Roberto Cavalli over a controlling stake, said to be between 60% and 80%, which would have given an enterprise value of just under $1bn. 

Whilst all parties are currently saying nothing about the potential discussions should an agreement be reached, this would be a step back in time for Investcorp in terms of re-engaging with the high-end designer goods sector. Back in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, Investcorp’s portfolio companies read like a designer shopping list. Names such as Gucci, Breguet and Ebel watches, Tiffany and Saks have all been companies in which Investcorp has held stakes. 

More recently, it has tended to invest in much more diversified companies and set up a specific fund focusing on technology-orientated businesses. That said, it did pay $140m for Georg Jenson, the high-end jewellery and homeware manufacturer in November 2012 and more recently, in December 2013, was linked as one of the potential buyers of Versace, which has ended up selling a 20% stake to the Blackstone Group for $287m.

Filed under: Gulf, investment, Italy, luxury, fashion