Valentino Purchased by Qatari Royal Family
Despite earlier statements to the contrary, an investment fund understood to be owned by the royal family of Qatar has agreed to purchase the Valentino Fashion Group for an estimated $858 million.
Mayhoola for Investments will purchase both Valentino and the licensing agreements for M Missoni from Permira, the London firm that currently owns both businesses. A representative from Mayhoola said the goal of the purchase is "to back management for the long term to exploit the full potential of this exciting brand."
Valentino's CEO Stefano Sassi is equally optimistic. "Our new shareholder will help us to reach our full potential," he said.
Another member of the royal family who might be interested in Valentino's potential is Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, the second wife of Qatar's emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Sheikha Mozah is reportedly one of the world's biggest consumers of couture; she's wearing Valentino in the photo at left. She also created the Qatar Luxury Group, which acquired the French leather goods company Le Tanneur last year.
Could she have been the catalyst for the Valentino purchase, too? A look back at some of Sheikha Mozah's chicest ensembles, in the gallery.