Sep 16, 2009
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Italy's Cavalli hires managers in strategy switch

Sep 16, 2009

MILAN, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Italian designer Roberto Cavalli has hired two top luxury and fashion sector managers to run the group dropping a plan for a private equity partner to support its growth plan, Cavalli said on Tuesday 15 September.


Gianluca Brozzetti, 55, was named as Group Chief Executive Officer and 57 year-old Carlo Di Biagio as Group Chief Operating Officer.

Cavalli, known for his animal print designs and flowing long dresses, had abandoned talks with private equity fund Clessidra on selling a 30 percent stake, a source close to the matter had said at the start of August.

"I have always considered the possibility of putting in well-respected managers as an alternative to assure the further growth of my company," Roberto Cavalli said in the statement.

Brozzetti has experience with PPR (PRTP.PA) luxury unit Gucci and Bulgari SpA (BULG.MI) and is currently CEO of Nautor's Swan luxury sailing brand. Di Biagio was previously CEO of Italian motorbike group Ducati.

A company spokeswoman said the company was previously managed by the Cavalli family.

"I have decided to pursue this route after having examined attentively the possibility of opening the company's shares to financial investors, plans now dropped," Cavalli said.

In its statement, Cavalli also said first half sales fell 19 percent to 88 million euros, with half of the fall due to problems at IT Holding (ITH.MI) unit Itierre. The IT Holding group is in special administration.

In 2008, Cavalli posted a 57 million euros EBITDA on sales of 224 million euros, the company said. (Writing by Nigel Tutt; Editing by Hans Peters)

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