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Feb 10, 2014
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Ermenegildo Zegna says has resources to remain independent

By
Reuters
Published
Feb 10, 2014

MILAN, Italian - Menswear designer Ermenegildo Zegna is not interested in joining Italian luxury firms that have listed on the stock exchange or sold stakes privately, its chief executive said in comments published in an Italian newspaper on Monday.

Ermenegildo Zegna AW14/15 | Source: Zegna

Asked whether Zegna could come up for sale, following on the heels of luxury suitmaker Brioni and cashmere firm Loro Piana, which have been bought respectively by French luxury groups Kering and LVMH, Gildo Zegna told La Stampa newspaper: "Absolutely not."

"We are not interested in listing either, as we have the organisational, industrial and financial resources to support our luxury strategy, driven by retail sales and the strength of our supply chain," said Zegna, whose grandfather founded the company as a woollen mill in 1910.

Italian fashion house Versace is due to choose between three bidders for a minority stake around the end of this month, with a view to a listing in 3-5 years.

Flamboyant designer Roberto Cavalli, meanwhile, said last month there were no talks underway with a possible outside investor, and the chief executive of Missoni told Reuters last week the family owners did not plan to give up control.

Zegna said his company was focusing on developing its own label, as "the Zegna brand is not yet developed to its full potential, either in the luxury segment, or the accessible segment."

Zegna said the company makes around 90 percent of sales from exports and sounded a positive note on sales in China, where red-hot demand for luxury goods is cooling. Luxury peers including Salvatore Ferragamo have reported slower growth in Asia last year.

But Zegna said his company's sales volumes in China had begun to accelerate again after a slowdown in 2013, without providing details.

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