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Proenza Schouler and Valentino Owner Permira Said to Be Shopping Both Labels

>> European private equity firm Permira, which bought minority stakes in Valentino and Proenza Schouler in May and July 2007, respectively, is reportedly looking to sell its interest in the labels.  Permira denied that it is putting out feelers, but WWD reports that sources say otherwise, and several investment funds have looked at both labels.

One "well-placed source" is cited as saying that the situation with Proenza Schouler is "all very agreeable . . . [Permira is] trying to find a way out and working on a possible deal together with [Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez] . . . I believe the problem is that the brand is absorbing too much cash: It’s still a small business that requires a lot of investment to grow.”

Why the deal was originally made »

The source said that it was former Valentino chairman Matteo Marzotto who orchestrated that Proenza Schouler deal: “I believe he meant for McCollough and Hernandez to later become the Valentino designers. Marzotto apparently planned to expand Valentino Fashion Group with more, young and edgy designer labels: “It was a great arrangement — the group managed to secure a jewel brand at a very good price, but, once Marzotto left [two years ago], no effort was made to really grow it. At this point, it no longer makes sense [to keep it]."

Permira is also said to be willing to sell its stake in Valentino, which has struggled since the retirement of its founder in 2008, but wants to retain its interest in Hugo Boss, a significantly larger business.

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