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Buyers circle IT Holding's Malo brand

Beleaguered luxury Italian fashion house IT Holding has received four expressions of interest for its knitwear brand Malo.

The state-appointed administrators for IT Holding, which also controls the Gianfranco Ferré label and manufacturing arm Ittierre, and has been in government-backed bankruptcy protection since February 2009, said four Italian parties have expressed interest in the cashmere firm.

Final offers were submitted on Thursday, following a public auction. Administrators Andrea Ciccoli, Roberto Spada and Stanislao Chimenti said they will consider the bids with advisers Mediobanca and Sin&rgetica.

The administrators declined to name the bidders but reports suggested that interest has come from knitwear company Ciocca, which also controls the Drumohr brand; Enzo D’Addario and Evante, both of which largely deal in the automotive market; and entrepreneur Michele Prestipino.

Reports suggested there was also interest from Chinese firm Ningxia Zhongyin Cashmere Company of China, which last year took control of Todd & Duncan from Dawson International but the company denied the speculation last month.

The administrators said they will favour bidders with a proven track record and those that demonstrated plans to grow Malo and avoid job cuts where possible.

IT Holding also intends to auction Gianfranco Ferré and Ittierre, which produces the Just Cavalli and Ermanno Scervino labels this summer.

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