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Blackstone takes Versace stake

Thursday - 2/27/2014, 3:01pm  ET

MILAN (AP) -- The Blackstone private equity firm has taken a 20-percent stake in the Versace fashion house with a 210 million-euro ($287 million) capital injection.

Versace fashion house CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris said by telephone Thursday the investment will help Versace prepare for a long-planned public listing in the next three to five years by ensuring "discipline."

Ferraris said the cash will be used to open more Versace stores, expand the other Versace brands like Versus and accessories and increase its online presence.

The fashion house founded by Gianni Versace struggled after his death in 1997. It returned to profits in 2011, and has seen its revenues double to more than 480 million euros during Ferraris' 4 ½ year tenure.

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