Fashion designer Giorgio Armani says he is more likely to sell his company when he eventually retires than become a minority shareholder, according to French newspaper Le Monde.

Armani said that he could not expect his family to take over the reigns of the luxury giant, but would only sell the company to a purchaser who would ensure the fashion house kept its original identity and employees.

He has cast aside suggestions that employees may acquire part of the company, and said that a stock market listing would leave Armani vulnerable to financiers who wouldn't have its best interests at heart.

He added that the company has the ability to stay independent by re-investing 70 per cent of its cash flow, and emphasised that he had no plans to make a partnership deal with competitor Versace, which is currently considering potential partners.