VALENTINO has been sold for an undisclosed sum.

Mayhoola for Investments S.P.C. - an investment company backed by a major private investor group from Qatar - has acquired Valentino Fashion Group S.p.A and the new company are looking forward to ''exploit the full potential'' of the brand and turn it into a ''luxury goods powerhouse''.

A spokesperson for Mayhoola said: ''Valentino has always been a brand of unique creativity and undisputed prestige.

''We are impressed by the work of the two creative directors, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, and by the management team led by Stefano Sassi. Their ability to blend the aesthetic values of the founder, Valentino Garavani, with a contemporary and sophisticated vision, has been instrumental in enhancing the brand's relevance and establishing a platform with significant future potential. Our vision is to back management for the long term to exploit the full potential of this exciting brand. We believe Valentino is ideally suited to form the basis for a global luxury goods powerhouse.''

Valentino think the backing of the new company will help them build on their recent growth.

Stefano Sassi, CEO of Valentino, said in a statement: ''We are delighted with this development.

''During the past few years, despite swings in the luxury markets, the company has operated with great intensity and remained focused on maximizing the potential of the Valentino brand. This effort should Drive A 60 per cent increase in revenues from 2009 to 2012. Our new shareholder will help us to reach our full potential. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Permira Funds and the Marzotto family for their industrial vision and the support that they have provided to management in implementing the first Steps of our long term plan.''

The Deal includes the Valentino label as well as the M Missoni license.

Though the fee was undisclosed, Valentino denied earlier this week the company was to be purchased for almost £500 million, but confirmed at the time there was an interested buyer.