Business

Michael Kors tipped to buy Versace $2bn

Donatella Versace Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Donatella Versace is artistic director of the Italian fashion house

Versace, the Italian fashion house founded by Gianni Versace 40 years ago, is set to be bought by Michael Kors, according to reports.

The US fashion group has agreed to buy the Italian firm in a deal worth about €1.7bn ($2bn, £1.5bn), Reuters reported.

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera first reported the impending sale earlier on Monday.

The Versace family still owns 80% of the company.

Four years ago it sold a 20% stake to US private equity group Blackstone.

Versace and Blackstone both declined to comment to Reuters.

Last year, Michael Kors bought Jimmy Choo, the luxury shoemaker founded in London, for almost £900m.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Gianni and Donatella Versace in 1996 - the year before the designer was murdered

Donatella Versace, the firm's artistic director and vice-president, has called a staff meeting in Milan for Tuesday, Corriere della Sera reported.

Versace reported sales of €686m in 2016. Chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd said earlier this year that annual turnover was soon expected to exceed €1bn.

Gianni Versace was 50 when he was murdered outside his Miami mansion in July 1997 by Andrew Cunanan.

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