Italian fashion company Prada SpA has agreed to sell its Jil Sander unit to private equity firm Change Capital Partners.

Prada has not disclosed the agreed price for Jil Sander, which is on track to reach operating break-even in 2006 on expected sales of more than EUR140m.

Change Capital Partners, which was created in January 2003 by Luc Vandevelde, chairman of Carrefour and former chairman of Marks & Spencer, plans to grow the upmarket fashion line in emerging markets and capitalise on its presence in the US, Japan and Europe.

Founded in Hamburg, Germany as a women's ready-to-wear brand in 1975, Jil Sander has been controlled by the Prada Group since September 1999.

The company has 16 directly-operated stores and an independent client network in Asia, Europe and North America - and in July 2005 appointed Raf Simons as its new creative director.

Stephan Lobmeyr, managing director, Change Capital Partners, said: "This will be a great combination of Jil Sander's creative talent and managerial expertise and Change Capital Partners' branded goods, retail and private equity experience."

Patrizio Bertelli, chairman and chief executive officer of the Prada Group, says its focus will now be on the development of the Prada and Miu Miu brands.