Following speculative reports that Valentino had been purchased by the Qatar royal family for 3 billion Dirhams, it has now been confirmed - although the price tag was in fact considerably higher.
Mayhoola for Investments, which is understood to be controlled by the Qatar royal family, reportedly paid $858 million (£556 million) to Red & Black Lux Sarl, a company indirectly controlled by the Permira Funds in partnership with the Marzotto family, to acquire the Valentino Fashion Group, which includes Valentino SpA as well as the M Missoni license business.
"Valentino has always been a brand of unique creativity and undisputed prestige. Their ability to blend the aesthetic values of the founder, Valentino Garavani, with a contemporary and sophisticated vision, has been instrumental in enhancing the brand's relevance and establishing a platform with significant future potential," said a spokesman for Mayhoola told WWD . "Our vision is to back management for the long term to exploit the full potential of this exciting brand. We believe Valentino is ideally suited to form the basis for a global luxury goods powerhouse."
Valentino's chief executive Stefano Sassi will remain at the helm of the company, as will current creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli.
Qatar is becoming an ever-prominent name in the fashion market, with company's looking to the oil-rich region for reliable and substantial investment. Qatar Holding LLC, which invests on behalf of the State of Qatar and is also linked to the Qatar royal family took control of Harrods in 2010. It also holds a 1.03 per cent stake in LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), and a 5.2 per cent share in Tiffany & Co.