MILAN, March 17 Italian private equity fund
Clessidra is in exclusive talks to buy a stake in Harmont &
Blaine, the clothing company said on Monday, a move it hopes
will help it expand abroad.
Clessidra would take a minority stake in the maker of casual
clothing branded with a basset hound via a reserved capital
increase, Harmont & Blaine said.
"We have found a fund we think can help support our growth
plan," Chief Executive Domenico Menniti said in a statement.
The brand said the entry of a new partner would help it
increase revenue in the next three years and raise the
proportion of sales it makes internationally.
Menniti said in December the company expected revenue to
rise to 90 million euros ($125 million) in 2014 from 61 million
in 2012, before the impact of any outside investment, and
planned to list shares publicly in the next four years.
Clessidra's interest in the luxury and retail sector
prompted it to buy Italian jeweller Buccellati in 2013. Later in
the year, the firm also bid for a stake in fashion house
Versace, which was eventually sold to U.S. firm Blackstone
UBS is advising Harmont & Blaine.
($1 = 0.7181 Euros)
(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Mark Potter)