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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 May 2007, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Permira scoops stake in Valentino
Founder Valentino Garavani during a fashion show
The Valentino brand has a long reputation in luxury fashion
Private equity firm Permira has bought a controlling stake in Italian fashion group Valentino for $1.06bn (535m).

The fund said it bought 29.6% of the luxury brand from an investment fund controlled by the Marzotto family.

It is the third time the brand has changed hands since founder Valentino Garavani sold the firm in 1998.

In buying Valentino, which includes Hugo Boss and Malboro Classics, Permira beat US rival Carlyle Group and said it might want to extend its share.

The move by Permira sets the value of the firm at $2.6bn.

Wider trend

After buying Valentino in 2002, the Marzottos managed to improve the performance of the firm by turning it into a stand alone operation.

Having started as a high-end fashion label, the firm has started offering jeans, perfumes and accessories.

The move by Permira comes as other funds have entered the luxury fashion sector recently.

Change Capital Partnership bought Jil Sander and Apax Partners scooped Tommy Hilfiger.

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