Exclusive: Clessidra inks Cavalli deal as first close looms

The Italian-based firm will purchase the luxury brand using capital from its Fund III

Clessidra, a Milan-based private equity firm, has signed a deal to acquire luxury Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli, PEI has learnt.

The firm, which has been in exclusive negotiations with the company for a few months, will buy Roberto Cavalli for between €300 million and €350 million, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Clessidra has signed a preliminary contract and is currently working on final documentation which will be completed in the next month or so.

The deal will coincide with a first close of approximately €400 million on Clessidra’s third fund, which has been in the market since October and has a target of €1 billion.

Clessidra is working with Park Hill Group on the fundraising process. Both Park Hill and Clessidra declined to comment.

The deal and joint first close will come shortly after Clessidra returned more than €900 million of its €1.1 billion Fund II. In May, Clessidra completed the sale of tire manufacturer Pirelli to Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft in a transaction that valued the business at €552.7 million. In April, Clessidra floated Anima Holding, an Italian asset management business in which the firm invested in 2009. This exit netted Clessidra a 3.5x return, PEI reported at the time. Clessidra also sold the Cerved Group for €1.13 billion, alongside Bain Capital to CVC Capital Partners in 2013.

Clessidra’s Fund II, which was raised in 2009, still holds four Italian companies – Balconi, a cake business; Euticals, a pharmaceutical firm; Buccellati, a jewellery business and Bitolea, a chemical company.

Clessidra, which invests in Italian businesses, was set up in 2003 and is led by Claudio Sposito. The firm typically writes equity tickets between €50 million and €150 million.