MILAN Dec 2 Italian clothing company Stefanel
is working against the clock to secure an investment
from a partner by the end of the year and avert the risk of
bankruptcy, three sources told Reuters on Friday.
The fashion group accumulated over 170 million euros ($181
million) in losses over the last 10 years while attempting to
reach out to higher-spending consumers in order to survive
competition from high-street brands like H&M and Zara
In November Stefanel was granted court protection from
creditors until March of next year. The group has for some time
sought to restructure some 90 million euros in debt and relaunch
its business with the aid of fresh capital.
"Everyone is working to identify a partner by the end of the
year," said one of the sources.
"At the moment, the dossier is the hands of the technical
commissions of the banks, but it will then have to go through
their boards... and March is just around the corner."
Stefanel said last week it was in talks with two potential
investors. The sources said both were investment funds and that
one is Portuguese-Italian Oxy Capital.
"Certainly there must be some discontinuity with respect to
the past, both in terms of shareholding and of management," said
another source, adding that, if needed, chairman, CEO and
controlling shareholder Giuseppe Stefanel was ready to
reconsider his position.
($1 = 0.9372 euros)
(writing by Giulia Segreti)