Italy’s Clessidra buys 35 pct of clothing group Harmont & Blaine-Reuters

(Reuters) – Italian private equity firm Clessidra has agreed to buy 35 percent of Harmont & Blaine in a move set to help fund the expansion of the Naples-based casual wear maker ahead of a planned bourse listing.

Harmont & Blaine, famous for its colourful collar shirts branded with a dachshund, said in a note Clessidra would buy into a reserved capital increase.

The investment will make Clessidra the fashion group’s single largest shareholder allowing it to name the chief executive, a source close to the deal said.

Harmont & Blaine, which is seeking to diversify away from menswear as it expands abroad, had revenues of 71 million euros in 2013.

The group is targeting sales of 200 million euros by the end of 2017, with the share of revenues made abroad rising to 60 percent of the total by then from 20 percent currently.

Bourse listing is slated for 2017 or 2018 at the latest.