SEOUL/MILAN South Korea's E-Land Group has denied a press report it was interested in buying into Italian fashion house Versace, which is planning to sell a stake to fund growth.
The privately owned retailing group was named by Italian weekly Il Mondo on Friday among eight suitors "ready to invest" 150-200 million euros ($198.89-265.19 million) in family owned Versace.
Donatella Versace told Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore the firm was vetting offers from investors interested in buying a minority stake. A source said earlier this month the fashion house is looking to sell a stake of up to 20 percent, valuing the group at more than 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion).
Versace declined to comment.
Several sources have said Qatar Holding and FSI, an Italian investment fund owned by state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, could be interested in investing in the fashion house, which also makes accessories and homewares in bold colors and striking fabrics.
Versace is fully controlled by the late founder's family. Donatella Versace holds 20 percent, her brother Santo 30 percent, and Donatella's daughter Allegra the remaining 50 percent.
Versace hired Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Banca Imi (ISP.MI) as advisers in May 2012.
($1 = 0.7542 euros)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee, writing by Isla Binnie, editing by Louise Heavens)