* Owner of Gianfranco Ferre under administration
* Label's fashion show confirmed for Friday in Milan
* Government wants businesses to continue
(Adds confirmation of show, administration details)
ROME, Feb 26 Designer label Gianfranco Ferre has
been put into special administration under the weight of
financial pressure, along with its owner IT Holding, just a day
before the label launches its new womenswear collection.
In a statement on Thursday, Italian Industry Minister
Claudio Scajola said the move aimed "to safeguard the group and
its ability to continue in business".
A spokesman confirmed the Ferre catwalk show would go ahead
on Friday as scheduled.
IT Holding is one of the first Italian listed companies to
go into special administration in the global market crisis and
its fate reflects not just the current credit crunch but also
the impact of falling demand on luxury goods companies.
IT Holding's administrators will be those already appointed
for its Ittierre unit, which filed for special administration
earlier this month. IT Holding employs over 1,800 people.
Administrators have six months to draw up a restructuring
plan for the group, which could include the sale of some assets.
Besides Ferre, IT Holding also owns the Malo and Exte brands and
its Ittierre unit distributes for Cavalli and Versace lines.
Ferre's founder died in 2007. He was known for his signature
"architectural" style in suits and jackets and his trademark
The label, one of Italy's best-known fashion lines, is now
styled by Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, from stablemate
On Wednesday, Roberto Cavalli cancelled his Just Cavalli
line show because of the uncertainty surrounding IT Holding.
Special administration aims to find ways to revive the
business of companies in financial difficulties without closing
The appointment of administrators means former management,
headed by chairman and owner Tonino Perna, no longer runs the
The Ittierre unit obtained a 30 million euros credit line
from five Italian banks on Wednesday.
IT Holding had net debt of 295.4 million euros at the end of
September and lost 10.1 million euros in the first nine months
of 2008. [ID:nL9666865]
It had been seeking a partner for months. Talks with China's
Mensun ended exclusivity without a deal at the end of 2008. Its
shares are suspended indefinitely.
(Writing by Jo Winterbottom in Milan, editing by Will Waterman)