According to WWD, talks to sell close to 80 per cent of the company are said to be ‘entering the final stages”, though there is still some issue over the company’s valuation.
Equity fund Permira, which owns Hugo Boss, New Look and R.Griggs Group Ltd, parent of the Doc Martens brand, is said to be the lead contender.
In 2009, Cavalli aborted plans to sell a 30 per cent stake to Italian private equity firm Clessidra SGR SpA after disagreeing over price.
A spokeswoman for Permira, which was said to be contender in the recent Versace sale, said “the fund does not comment on market rumors,” while the Cavalli Group had no comment.
If the reported sale does go ahead, it is not known what it would mean for the 73-year-old designer, who has previously said he can’t imagine retiring.
“How could I stop? Indeed, I could not stay away from the catwalk,” he said recently. “When I go out, it’s such an emotion…and I look you all in the eyes.”
Florence-born Cavalli founded his brand in 1970, introducing his secondary line, Just Cavalli in 1990. His second and current wife Eva Duringer acts as co-creative director of both labels.