Damac chairman confirms buy-out of Roberto Cavalli business

The deal was executed through Hussain Sajwani's privately owned Vision Investments

Hussain Sajwani, chairman of Damac Properties and owner of DICO Group, which has just completed the purchase of Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli. Courtesy of Damac Properties
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The chairman of Damac Properties has completed the buy-out of Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli through his private investment vehicle.

The purchase, done through Vision Investments, follows a court-sanctioned restructuring process after the company's previous owner, Italian private equity firm Clessidra, ran into problems.

It had bought 90 per cent of the Roberto Cavalli business four years ago in a deal reportedly worth €390 million (Dh1.58bn) but was unable to turn the company around.

Vision Investments, which is part of Hussain Sajwani's Dico Group, emerged as the top bidder in a competitive process, and concluded the deal on Thursday, according to a statement.

“We are excited about carrying forward the incredible legacy of the Roberto Cavalli brand. Dico has a long and fruitful association with Roberto Cavalli, and I believe that the brand resonates with our idea of luxury," Mr Sajwani said. "I am happy to announce that the transaction was executed swiftly and that we will ensure stability in management."

Roberto Cavalli is one of several fashion houses that Damac Properties has worked with in recent years, with branded residence deals also being done with the interior design arms of Versace and Fendi.

The Dico Group was set up in 1992 and invests in five main areas - capital markets, real estate, hotels and resorts, manufacturing and catering, and now luxury fashion.

Mr Sajwani's association with Roberto Cavalli began in 2017, when an agreement was signed between DICO Group and the fashion house to develop interiors for the Aykon Hotels brand developed by Damac Properties.

"At Dico Investments, we aspire to own internationally recognised brands, and this acquisition marks a significant step in our strategy,” Mr Sajwani said.

Earlier this month, Mr Sajwani's son, Ali, told The National he was confident of the group's ability to grow the Roberto Cavalli business.

"We think it’s a good investment," he said. "It’s a long term play, definitely, and we think we can add a lot of value to the brand."

Dico is also planning to develop luxury resorts in the Maldives, Bali, Marrakech and the Seychelles, he said.

"We understand that high-end luxury market. We understand what a wealthy client looks for, and that’s why we think we can do very well in the resorts business," Ali Sajwani said at the time. "We can cater very well to their needs."