Bidders Rally To Save Escada
The battle to save Escada continues. The NY Post reports that the owner of Faconnable may buy the German fashion house. Beirut-based M1 Group purchased Faconnable from Nordstrom for $210 million in 2007 and Escada's similar upscale fashion demographic would make it an excellent companion brand. But there's more than one suitor at Escada's door. Others interested in the brand include Megha Mittal, daughter-in-law of Lakshmi Mittal, the billionaire Indian steel magnate, Sven Ley, the son of Escada's founder Wolfgang Ley and Vestar Capital Partners which owns another comparable brand, St. John Knits.
Ley is working with the former head of Gucci, Giacomo Santucci, and Italian investment group Borletti. Reuters says that Ley's consortium, ZSL Partners, has offered to pay almost 80 million euros for the fashion house and would bring Santucci on as the chief exec. putting a man with some serious fashion experience at the helm. Borletti also owns the Rinascente and Printemps department stores in Italy and France.
M1 Group's plans for Escada would involve combining the back-end" operations of Escada andFaconnable to create a single lean, mean fashion machine behind the scenes while keeping the creative on the brands separate. M1 Group and Mittal are both said to support current CEO Bruno Salzer, formerly of Hugo Boss. Insolvency proceedings over Escapa opened Sunday at the Munich Municipal court and a decision could be forthcoming within the next few days.