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After Three Years of Speculation, Roberto Cavalli Finally Sells Minority Stake

>> Despite telling WWD a week ago that he was having doubts about selling a stake in his company — “I’m not so sure I want to sell in the end” — and saying that negotiations with potential buyer, Milan-based private equity firm Clessidra, were far from finished, Roberto Cavalli told Il Sole 24 Ore yesterday that he has signed a letter of intent to sell with the firm.

Cavalli had been negotiating to sell 20 percent of his company when he talked to WWD, but said Tuesday that the percent agreed on rose to 30.  He has until Sept. 30 to decide on the price of purchase, and expects the valuation of his company to come it at over 300 million euros (approximately $420 million) in light of a recent improvement in sales, but hopes the deal could be completed "perhaps before the end of June."

Once that is taken care of, the first projects with Clessidra would include finding a chief executive, with four names on the short list — apparently most top managers at major Italian fashion houses have been approached for the post — and a renewal of the Cavalli eyewear license.

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