Italian businessman Silvio Scaglia, the founder of telecoms operator Fastweb, has acquired struggling upmarket lingerie maker La Perla following an auction at a bankruptcy court in Bologna.

Scaglia's holding company, SMS Finance, beat off competition from Italian fashion firm, Calzedonia and Israel's Delta Galil Industries, to secure the purchase of La Perla for which it is reported to have paid EUR69m (US$90.2m).

The family-run company was founded in 1954, with US private equity fund JH Partners acquiring a controlling stake in 2007.

The takeover makes provision to maintain all of La Perla's 800 employees and to invest at least EUR110m in the company.

Last year its sales contracted to EUR100m compared to around EUR250m ten years ago.