Permira studying Gruppo Florence's books for possible buy-sources

MILANO, March 6 (Reuters) - Gruppo Florence, a hub of Italian clothing manufacturers that supply top luxury brands, has given private equity firm Permira access to its books to facilitate a potential sale, two sources close to the matter said on Monday.

Gruppo Florence is working with Bank of America and Citi to assess strategic options after drawing interest from investment firms including Carlyle and Permira, sources said in January.

Gruppo Florence is majority owned by VAM Investments, a fund controlled by former Bulgari Chief Executive Francesco Trapani.

The two sources said the group was still open to a possible listing if the deal with Permira did not materialise.

In January VAM CEO Marco Piana told Reuters an initial public offering would be a natural exit strategy for the fund due to the lack of "listed assets that give investors exposure to the luxury sector's made-in-Italy supply chain."

Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; editing by Valentina Za

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