By Michelle Graff
From left to right, Gianni Versace S.p.A CEO Jonathan Akeroyd, design director Donatella Versace and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. Chairman and CEO John D. Idol. Michael Kors announced Tuesday it was buying the Italian fashion house in a $2 billion deal. (Photo credit: Rahi Rezvani)
London—Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. has reached an agreement to acquire Versace in a deal valued at $2.12 billion, the companies announced Tuesday.

Michael Kors is a New York-based publicly traded company that sells clothing, accessories, footwear, wearable tech, watches, jewelry, eyewear and perfume. The company just launched a line of sterling silver jewelry priced at $60 to $495 retail.

Michael Kors Holdings also owns luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo.

Based in Milan, Gianni Versace S.p.A. is a 40-year-old Italian luxury label that designs, manufactures and distributes haute couture and prèt-à-porter clothing as well as accessories, jewelry, watches, eyewear, fragrances, and home furnishings, all bearing the distinctive Medusa logo.  

The late Gianni Versace founded the company in 1978 and headed it until his death in 1997. Today it is run by his sister, Donatella Versace, his brother, Santo Versace, and Donatella’s daughter, Allegro Versace Beck.

The companies said Donatella Versace will remain on board as design director following the acquisition, as will Versace CEO Jonathan Akeroyd.

The transaction is expected to close in the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, subject to specific closing conditions.

Following completion of the Versace acquisition, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. will become Capri Holdings Ltd., and own and operate three fashion brands: Michael Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo. The name is a nod to the resort island of Capri, located off the coast of Italy.

The acquisition of Versace means the end of the independence of one of fashion’s last standalone brands, and is the second major acquisition in little more than a year for Michael Kors, which announced it was buying Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion in July 2017.

Michael Kors said it intends to grow Versace’s revenues to $2 billion globally, expand its store count from 200 to 300, accelerate ominchannel, and focus on men’s and women’s accessories and footwear. 

Acquiring Versace also will help the company grow its presence in Asian markets while cutting back on exposure in the Americas.

Michael Kors said in the release announcing the acquisition that purchasing Versace would “diversify our geographic portfolio from 66 percent Americas to 57 percent Americas, 23 percent Europe to 24 percent Europe and 11 percent Asia to 19 percent Asia.”

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