MatlinPatterson buys Italian fashion house

In the wake of the arrest of a rival bidder, US distressed private equity firm MatlinPatterson has acquired Italian fashion house Cerruti from troubled Italian textile and apparel conglomerate Fin.part, according to reports.

MatlinPatterson, a $3.8 billion (€3 billion) private equity fund that targets distressed investments worldwide, has bought the struggling Italian clothing and fragrance maker Cerruti from the bankrupt Italian textile and apparel conglomerate Fin.part, according to a story in Women’s Wear Daily. Terms were not disclosed.

Fin.part bought a majority stake in Cerruti in 2000 for $70 million, but the conglomerate finally went under due to bankruptcy in October 2005.

In July 2005, the Italian clothing company Manifattura Paoloni finalized a deal with Fin.part to buy Cerruti for an initial €10 million, with an addition €102 million in 12 years—a total of €112 million ($143 million). But the Italian court handling the Fin.part liquidation may have invalidated this deal when company head Michele Paoloni was arrested in May in an unrelated price-fixing scandal involving shares of Italian cosmetics company Schiapparelli. MatlinPatterson moved in when Cerruti became available.

Milan, Italy-based Cerruti is a high-end maker of clothing and fragrances, and owns stores in New York, Paris and London, as well as 12 other cities around the world. Its clothes have been featured in numerous films, and were famously worn by actors Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in the 1990 film Pretty Woman.