Luxury brands stalk Bond's outfitter

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The Independent Online

Suitors are stalking luxury Italian brand Brioni – known for dressing James Bond and presidents including Barack Obama.

Eurazeo, the French private-equity firm, Zegna, an Italian luxury brand, and PPR, one of France's biggest luxury houses, are all known to have had recent talks with the Bond suit-maker about a potential offer. If the company is sold, it could fetch up to €350m (£300m).

Brioni declined to comment.

The Rome-based family-owned group still manufactures its entire range in Italy. Its suits start at $4,000 (£2,570) and can cost $47,000.

The business was founded in 1945 and now has boutiques in major cities across the world. It reported an operating profit of €32m for 2010 and is expanding into casualwear.

Eurazeo recently bought a stake in Italian ski-wear label Moncler, while PPR has been trying to offload its catalogue business Redcats in a move to focus on luxury goods.

Luxury goods groups, which have until recently remained resilient to the downturn, have started to see their share prices fall due to doubts over potential growth in emerging markets such as China. The UK label Burberry saw a 12.5 per cent fall on its share price this week.