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Italian fashion group OTB eyes M&A as cash grows

MILAN, April 15 (Reuters) - Italian fashion group OTB is planning to invest 200 million euros ($226 million) over the next three years, potentially in acquiring other brands, after boosting its financial strength in 2018, it said on Monday.

OTB - which stands for Only The Brave - owns a string of street and upmarket European brands including Maison Margiela, Marni, Viktor&Rolf and Paula Cademartori.

The company posted a drop in revenues and margins last year but said its net financial position strengthened by 32 percent to 111 million euros.

Its most famous label, denim maker Diesel, filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States earlier this year.

Diesel's weak performance in Europe and North America last year weighed on OTB's consolidated sales, which fell 3.2 percent at constant exchange rates to 1.4 billion euros. All the other brands posted a growing turnover, the company said.

Its core profit slipped 21 percent to 41.5 million euros. Net equity stands at 885 million euros.

OTB Chief Executive Ubaldo Minelli said in a statement the group had reorganised its business over the past year.

"Our net equity and current financial position will allow us to continue to explore new opportunities", he added.

OTB has recently started negotiations with struggling Italian luxury brand Cavalli, which filed for creditor protection last month and is looking for new investors. ($1 = 0.8843 euros) (Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi; Editing by Jan Harvey )

2019-04-15 15:52:55

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