The family behind Benetton Group is considering making an offer to buy the shares it doesn’t already own, in a bid to take the Italian fashion retailer private.
Through its holding company Edizione, the Benetton family said it is considering buying the 33% of the company's shares that are listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.
Edizione controls 67% of the family business, which is famous for its coloured knitwear and owns brands such as Sisley and Playlife.
When contacted, Gianni Mion, chief executive of Edizione, was not available for comment.
Benetton has been a publicly traded company for 26 years, since it listed shares in Milan in 1986.
The family is expected to make a decision on 1 February. Until then, trading of the company’s shares has been suspended, Italy’s stock exchange said in a statement.
Their value increased by more than 9% on 31 January, following speculative reports about a merger between the Italian group and Inditex, the Spanish family-controlled retail company that owns brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti and Bershka.
On 31 January, the group said it expects its 2011 net profit to plunge by 30% to about €70 million from €102.8 million last year. Revenues are also likely to fall to €2.03 billion, from €2.05 billion in 2010.
Chairman Luciano Benetton founded the clothing business in 1965. Today, several member of the family are involved in the management of the company, including Luciano’s eldest son Alessandro, who is executive deputy chairman.