Safilo said on Tuesday it had received no binding offer for the firm after shareholders in a local rival bought into the debt-laden eyewear maker and a report said another stakeholder was mulling a bid.
Safilo shares closed up 24.25 percent at 0.62 euros, suspended limit-up for much of the session, as a source said bondholders were also involved in negotiations to resolve the firm's financial difficulties.
Italy's Della Valle family bought a 2.06 percent stake in Safilo, the maker of Gucci and Dior sunglasses, according to market regulator Consob's website. Della Valle also owns 40 percent in eyewear maker Marcolin.
Shares in Marcolin, seen as a potential partner for Safilo, closed up 11.9 percent at 1.85 euros.
Meanwhile Netherlands-based Hal Investments, which holds just over 2 percent of Safilo, was considering making an offer for the group, daily La Repubblica reported, quoting sources close to the matter.
Safilo bondholders looking to salvage their investments have received a cool reception from creditor banks, two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.
Institutional investors holding about 50 percent of a 195 million euro Safilo bond are mulling a proposal to convert the bond into equity that would make the bondholders key shareholders in the company, one source said.
Marcolin shares were boosted by speculation of an alliance with Safilo which analysts said would be potentially a good fit though would struggle without an injection of fresh capital.
While this would represent a strategically meaningful transaction given the many strong licenses and retail network that the combined entity would be able to rely upon, we also note that it would be financially challenging given Safilo's stretched debt burden, Goldman Sachs said in a note.
Milan broker Intermonte deemed such a tie-up unlikely, preferring world leader Luxottica as the main candidate as Safilo's partner. Luxottica's CEO has said it is not interested in Safilo.
Even if (Safilo and Marcolin) were to sell non-core assets for 80-100 million euros, such a merger would need new capital of around 100-150 million euros, Intermonte said, adding it would also require the go-ahead from licensors.
Safilo, hit by falling sales in the downturn, said in July talks with private equity funds had collapsed. It has been trying to shore up its balance sheet and has agreed an extension on a debt payment with banks.
Safilo had net debt of 592.1 million euros ($867.2 million) at the end of June and has said it is now focusing on its core business. The family of Chairman Vittorio Tabacchi has nearly 40 percent of the company.
(Reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, additional reporting by Cristina Carlevaro; Editing by Mike Nesbit, John Stonestreet)