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Giorgio Armani Won’t Rule Out an IPO or Merger

Giorgio Armani has succession on his mind.

The fashion icon, who turns 90 this year, has kept his brand independent for about five decades. But in the future, it could become part of a luxury conglomerate—or even be taken public, Armani told Bloomberg in a rare interview on Friday.

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“I don’t currently envisage a takeover by a large luxury conglomerate,” Armani wrote in a written interview with the outlet. “But as I said, I don’t want to exclude anything a priori because that would be an ‘unentrepreneurial’ course of action . . . Listing is something we have not yet discussed, but it is an option that may be considered, hopefully in the distant future.”

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Armani built his company to become one of the world’s luxury leaders, but he hasn’t spoken much publicly about what will happen to the brand once he’s no longer at its helm. Now, though, he’s opening up about how he envisions the company’s future. (Currently, Armani himself controls most of the brand, contributing to his $6.6 billion net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.)

While Armani doesn’t have any children to take over the company once he steps down, he told Bloomberg that he would like to leave it to some of his relatives and close advisers. The Armani foundation is already overseen by some of those people, and Armani views that group as the one that will determine the future of the overall company.

“The foundation will decide and govern the future of the Armani Group because the people closest to me are at the helm of it,” he said. “The foundation’s role is essentially to guarantee and guard my work and the values I hold most dear and on which I founded my company. My intention was to establish a framework within which my group could operate even in my absence.”

Those values, of course, include independence. At a time when many luxury brands are being brought into conglomerates like LVMH and Kering, Armani has kept his company flying solo. And while he’d like to see that remain the case in the future, it doesn’t mean he’s closing off his mind to alternative routes.

“Independence is one of the founding values of everything I have created and certainly the one I have guarded most tenaciously, to the point of obstinacy,” he said. “I think independence from large groups could still be a driving value for the Armani Group in the future, but I don’t feel I can rule anything out. What has always characterized the success of my work is an ability to adapt to changing times.”

Once Armani leaves his company, it’ll certainly mark a changing of the guard.

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