Fashion group Mariella Burani was on Thursday reported to considering a bid for handbag maker Francesco Biasia SpA.

The family-owned firm is believed to be eyeing a 70 per cent stake in the company which produces more than one million bags a year and sells them in over 2,000 retail outlets around the world.

Earlier this month, Mariella Burani posted a 16 per cent rise in first quarter operating profit from the year-ago period while Francesco Biasia posted a turnover of 41 million euros for fiscal 2002.