Guess Italia Srl, a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based Guess? Inc, is to buy its European jeanswear licensee Maco Apparel SpA.

Guess? Inc currently owns 10 per cent of Maco, and will acquire the remaining 90 per cent from Fingen Apparel BV.

The transaction is expected to close in January 2005 the company said in a statement on Friday.

Part of the transaction will include stores in Rome, Milan and Paris as well as in London and Amsterdam, helping Guess? to expand its European operations.

Maco Apparel SpA is the Italian licensee of Guess jeanswear for men and women in Europe.

Guess? Inc says it plans to open many new stores throughout Europe, either directly or through its distributors, in cities such as Istanbul, Budapest, Warsaw and Barcelona.