Roberto Cavalli sale finalised

Robert Cavalli

Troubled fashion house Roberto Cavalli has officially been purchased by a Dubai-based property developer.

Bosses at the Italian fashion label, known for its exotic prints and sand-blasted jeans, announced in late March that they were closing all stores across North America and were seeking to make a deal with creditors to keep the company going while they searched for an investor.

After months of speculation over who may take over the company, it was reported in July that executives at Vision Investments, part of the DICO Group, were in negotiations to acquire the Florence-headquartered brand, and on Thursday, the transaction was completed. Financial details of the deal weren't shared.

"We are excited about carrying forward the incredible legacy of the Roberto Cavalli brand. DICO has a long and fruitful association with Roberto Cavalli, and I believe that the brand resonates with our idea of luxury. I am happy to announce that the transaction was executed swiftly and that we will ensure stability in management," said Hussain Sajwani, chairman of DAMAC Properties, in a statement. "At DICO Investments, we aspire to own internationally recognised brands, and this acquisition marks a significant step in our strategy."

Sajwani, an Emirati billionaire property developer, founded real estate development company DAMAC Properties in 2002. Based in Dubai, the company provides residential, commercial and leisure properties and has presences across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, and the U.K.

Since 2015, managers at the Italian private equity fund Clessidra SGR controlled Roberto Cavalli with a 90 per cent stake, along with other minor partners, including the designer himself.

Former Versace executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris was brought onboard in July 2016 to help turn around the company, and following the departure of creative director Peter Dundas, British designer Paul Surridge was employed as head designer in May 2017. However, Surridge confirmed plans to exit his post in March, and a successor has not yet been named.

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