UPDATE 1-Sale of Gianfranco Ferre fashion house gets underway

Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:01am EDT

* Binding offers for Ferre due by July 6

* Ittierre auction also starts, offers by Aug. 2

(Adds details, sale of Sardina real estate)

MILAN, June 16 (Reuters) - The auction of Italian fashion house Gianfranco Ferre, one of Milan's top designer names, was launched on Wednesday by the special commissioners running parent company IT Holding ITH.MI.

A call for bids comes the day before the third anniversary of the death of Gianfranco Ferre, known for his signature "architectural" style in suits and jackets and his trademark white shirts.

IT Holding went into administration in February 2009 after running out of cash.

In a notice published in newspapers, the three overseers set a July 6 deadline to submit binding offers for Ferre and an Aug. 2 deadline for binding offers for Ittierre, the IT Holding unit which makes and distributes clothes for lines such as Just Cavalli and Galliano.

The commissioners also put up for sale a property in Porto Cervo, a seaside vacation spot on the exclusive Emerald Coast in Sardinia, calling for binding offers to be submitted by July 6.

They are also seeking to sell cashmere brand Malo.

Investment bank Mediobanca (MDBI.MI) is advising on the sales.

Several fashion houses, such as Christian Lacroix in France and Mariella Burani Fashion Group MBFG.MI in Italy, fell into financial difficulties last year as the global crisis sapped demand for expensive clothes and accessories. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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