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Brioni’s founding families look at potential sale

Family-owned clothing company Brioni is looking at the possibility of outside investment as the credit crunch hits the luxury retail sector.

It is being reported that the Italian company, famous for kitting out James Bond, has appointed BNP Paribas to advise it on an expansion plan, which includes putting a 20–25% stake up for sale.

"This is a family company. We need to think about the future and ways to develop the brand," Antonella De Simone, Brioni's co-chief executive officer and descendent of one of the founders, was quoted as saying.

Last year Brioni, which the owners value at €500 million, turned down advances from private equity firms but it is expected that the latter will struggle to resurrect their bids in the current financial climate.

The families of de Simone and Perrone are understood to be the firm's controlling shareholders. Master tailor Nazareno Fonticoli and his business partner Gaetano Savini founded the company in 1945.

In 2006 the family appointed three joint CEOs: de Simone, descended
from Fonticoli; Andrea Perrone, a descendant of Savini; and Antonio

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