* Red & Black sells 8.4 mln shares at 113 euros each
* Move raises free float to 91 pct
* Marzotto family holds 7 pct
* Hugo Boss shares down 2.3 pct in early trade (Adds placement price, share price, changes dateline)
FRANKFURT, March 17 (Reuters) - Investors including private equity firm Permira have sold off their holding in Hugo Boss for around 950 million euros ($1 billion), leaving Italy’s Marzotto family as the German fashion group’s biggest shareholder.
Investment vehicle Red & Black, which is 60 percent-owned by Permira, placed about 8.4 million shares, or a stake of 11.9 percent, at 113 euros per share, BofA Merrill Lynch said in a statement.
Permira has been gradually reducing the holding, acquired via Red & Black in 2007, to take advantage of share price gains over recent years.
At the same time, the Marzotto family has been using the opportunity to buy back shares. It now holds 7 percent, which is still considerably less than the majority stake it sold to Red & Black roughly eight years ago.
Hugo Boss’s stock has more than doubled in value since Red & Black took it over for 5.3 billion euros in 2007.
Up 17 percent year to date at Monday’s close, it was down 2.3 percent at 115.90 euros as of 0834 GMT on Tuesday.
According to Hugo Boss, the placement increases the proportion of its shares that is freely traded to 91 percent, increasing its weighting on German mid-cap index MDAX.
Some analysts have said that a higher free float could make Hugo Boss a candidate to eventually enter the blue-chip DAX index.
BofA Merrill Lynch and UBS acted as joint bookrunners in the placement.
$1 = 0.9432 euros Reporting by Edward Taylor and Maria Sheahan; Editing by Jason Neely