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Italian entrepreneur takes control of La Perla

Tuesday - 6/4/2013, 3:51pm  ET

MILAN (AP) -- An Italian telecommunications entrepreneur has won control of the La Perla luxury lingerie and beachwear brand, beating out Italian hosiery and bathing suit maker Calzedonia.

A Bologna bankruptcy court on Tuesday awarded Silvio Scaglia the brand for 69 million euros ($90 million), 1 million euros more than Calzedonia's bid.

Scaglia has pledged to maintain all 800 employees and to invest at least 110 million euros to relaunch the brand. The family-run company launched in 1954 was sold to the U.S. private equity fund JH Partners in 2007, which initiated bankruptcy proceedings.

Scaglia founded Omnitel, which became Vodafone Italia, and the Fastweb broadband company, which he sold to Swisscom. He is currently on trial in an alleged money-laundering scheme involving Fastweb and a Telecom Italia unit. He has denied any wrongdoing.

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