Rome :  Italian family-run fashion house Versace said today it had agreed to sell a 20-percent stake to US private equity firm Blackstone in a deal that values the group at 1.0 billion euros (USD 1.4 billion).

The company said in a statement that Blackstone would inject 150 million euros of fresh capital into the label and will also buy 60 million euros’ worth of shares from the family holding company, Givi.       Versace said the family would remain “at the heart of the company”, which was founded by the flamboyant late fashion designer Gianni Versace in the 1970s and is known for its colourful and Baroque designs.            The Milan-based fashion label is currently 30% owned by Gianni’s brother Santo, who is the chairman, 20 percent by his sister Donatella, the creative director, and 50 percent by her daughter Allegra. Versace expects to announce an 18% hike in revenues to 480 million euros.

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