US high-tech baron buys French fashion house

4th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 4 (AFP) - French luxury fashion brand Emanuel Ungaro has been sold by Italian group Salvatore Ferragamo to a US-based high-tech entrepreneur, the Paris-based brand announced Friday.

PARIS, Nov 4 (AFP) - French luxury fashion brand Emanuel Ungaro has been sold by Italian group Salvatore Ferragamo to a US-based high-tech entrepreneur, the Paris-based brand announced Friday.

The Ungaro brand -- among the better-known luxury clothing labels in the world -- was acquired by the Ferragamo group in 1996.

Pakistan-born Asim Abdullah, 42, a novice in the world of fashion, made his fortune in the high-tech sector as investor and chief executive in several Internet commerce firms.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The Ungaro house is the second high-profile French fashion brand recently purchased by American investors this year after the Falic group bought Christian Lacroix's couture business earlier this year.

The Ferragamo group has been looking to sell the Ungaro label and its 16 stores worldwide for several months.

Founded in 1965 by Emanuel Ungaro, 72, the Ungaro brand -- famous for it brightly-colored floral prints -- includes women's and men's wear, accessories and perfumes.

Total wholesale revenue of products sold under the Ungaro label through licensing deals was approximately EUR 70 million (US $84 million), a company spokesman said Friday.

He added that he expected sales to top EUR 100 million (US $120 million) in three years, with especially strong growth in accessories and men's wear.

Founder Emanuel Ungaro, 72, who stopped presenting haute couture collections several years ago, will "continues to be part of the house," the spokesman said, without provided any details.

French designer Vincent Darré took charge of Ungaro's ready-to-wear collections beginning last year.

Since 2003 the company has been managed by Paolo De Spirt, who launched a re-organization focusing on Ungaro's core business and developing licensing deals.

"Emanuel Ungaro is a great brand with a very rich and unparalleled history. I believe that the current management team, led by Paolo de Spirt, has done a great job so far and I would like that they remain involved with the company," Abdullah said, cited in the communique.

Ferragamo will "continue to provide support" and work with the Ungaro brand in a licensing capacity, said Leonardo Ferragamo, director of Ferragamo Finanziaria.

The Italian group will "continue to be involved at both a strategic and an operation level," the communique said. "Leather accessories and perfume will continue to be managed by the group through licensing," it said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news


 

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