Mariella Burani mulls strategic investor; EGM off
MILAN Nov 15 (Reuters) - Debt-laden Mariella Burani Fashion Group MBFG.MI is weighing taking on a strategic investor after it failed to close a debt restucturing accord ahead of a Monday deadline, the luxury goods company said.
Mariella Burani cancelled an extraordinary shareholders meeting set for Monday to vote on a revamp of its debt, which was 479.9 million euros ($713.9 million) at the end of September. Chief Executive Gabriele Fontanesi said this month creditor banks had until Monday to approve the plan. [ID:nL8261274]
Mariella Burani is among many luxury goods groups to fall into financial trouble as the global crisis pinches demand for clothes and accessories.
The company, 71 percent controlled by the Burani family, "is weighing... the possibility of a strategic industrial partner taking a stake in order to speed up meeting goals for" a restructuring, it said in a statement late on Saturday. [ID:nBIA141e9]
Mariella Burani has made a proposal to creditor banks and is awaiting a response from their legal adviser by the start of next week, it said as it reported a deeper nine-month loss on Sunday. [ID:nBIA154f3]
The debt revamp would pave the way for a 100 million euro capital hike to bail out the group. The shares have been indefinitely suspended from trading.
The board will soon meet to discuss what course to take, the company said.
Options include insolvency proceedings, reholding the shareholder assembly or calling one with a new agenda taking into account a debt deal "now under negotiation with banks", it said in a statement late on Friday. [ID:nBIA13d2e]
Mariella Burani did not name potential strategic investors. The company said this month it had had contacts with South Korean group E.Land and other potential investors though no proposal had been made.
Mariella Burani posted a nine-month net loss of 158.7 million euros versus 142.1 million euros a year ago. Revenues dropped to 397.6 million euros from 501.5 million euros excluding a one-off gain in 2008. (Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Hans Peters) ($1=.6722 Euro)
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