Amidst rumors and subsequent denials that Permira Advisers, LLP is selling a significant stake in Hugo Boss, the European private equity firm sold off a stake of 846 million euros ($1.1 billion) in the German-based fashion house to institutional investors in September, and now is offloading another portion of its ownership. As of this week, Permira is set to further reduce its stake in Hugo Boss through two transactions, cutting its holding in the German fashion retailer to 14 percent or less from 32 percent. Permira, which is Hugo Boss's largest shareholder, has started placing at least 7.35 million shares, or a 10.4 percent stake, through a bookbuilding procedure.
Permira has previously held ownership in Valentino, before selling it off to Qatari investors, and in the past year, has been in talks to buy into both Versace and Roberto Cavalli, but neither amounted to a deal. The company paid 5.3 billion euros on a controlling stake in Hugo Boss in 2007, installing Claus-Dietrich Lahrs as chief executive, who has overseen the stock's quadrupling in value since then. As of June 2013, New York-based designer, Jason Wu, has been at the helm, revamping product ranges and the womenswear collection for the house, which has largely been known primarily for its menswear offerings.
Update: Italy's Marzotto family bought Hugo Boss shares worth around half a billion euros ($565 million) on Tuesday, taking advantage of Permira's gradual exit to regain a substantial stake in the German fashion group.