Private Equity Firm 3i Hires Goldman Sachs to Sell Agent Provocateur
A file photograph of models displaying creations during an Agent Provocateur fashion show in Vienna.Reuters

British private equity firm 3i Group has hired US bank Goldman Sachs Group to manage a likely sale of investee company Agent Provocateur, reports said.

Goldman Sachs will let potential bidders conduct due diligence shortly.

In July, British media reported that 3i was exploring a sale of the British luxury lingerie retailer, for which 3i could rake in about £200m ($336m, €251m) including debt.

Roberto Cavalli

London-based Permira Advisers has approached Roberto Cavalli about a likely acquisition of a stake in the Italian fashion house, unnamed sources told Bloomberg earlier in the month.

Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, the maker of $1,645 silk dresses, was reportedly in talks with Gulf investment firm Investcorp to sell a stake in his fashion brand.

Talks between Cavalli and Investcorp, which was a suitor for a 20% stake in Versace and has owned Gucci in the past, were at a preliminary stage, an unnamed source told Reuters in May.

Blackstone-Versace

In February 2014, Italy's Gianni Versace, the fashion house that features Lady Gaga in its advertising campaign, sold a 20% stake to US private equity major Blackstone in a deal that valued Versace at €1bn.

Versace said Blackstone will infuse €150m of fresh capital into the design house and will also purchase shares worth €60m from family holding company GIVI Holding.

For the 12 months to 31 March 2013, Agent Provocateur reported an EBITDA of £6.2m on revenues of £39m.

3i acquired a majority stake in the lingerie business in 2007, in a deal that valued the firm at about £60m.

Agent Provocateur was founded in 1994 and has stores or franchise partners in 31 countries the world over, according to 3i's website.