Milan–Italian private equity firm Clessidra has sold its 85 percent majority stake in Buccellati, the Italian heritage jewelry house, to Chinese conglomerate Gangtai Group.
According to a statement from the Italian firm, Clessidra, along with the Buccellati family, will retain a 15 percent stake in the company.
Clessidra’s Managing Director Marco Carotenuto said, “We are particularly satisfied with the agreement reached with Gangtai Group. We have strongly supported Buccellati in the last three years, achieving a 60 percent growth in revenues since acquisition. We believe that the company is now ready for a new growth cycle that Gangtai Group will support, considering also its experience in the jewelry market and its strong presence in China.”
Buccellati was founded in Milan in 1919, and was entirely family owned until 2013, when Clessidra purchased a 67 percent share of the company, with the Buccellati family retaining 33 percent.
Since then, the jewelry house has expanded its international distribution, opening a new flagship in New York and stores in Palm Beach, Florida and Paris, France, while strengthening its image, products and management structure.
In 2014, in an effort to connect with millennials, the company named then-25-year-old Lucrezia Buccellati as its first female designer, with her father Andrea Buccellati taking on the role of president, creative director and, later, chairman.
He commented, “Our family founded this company almost 100 years ago and will continue to be fully involved to support its development, the creative mastery and production craftsmanship that enabled the establishment of a unique and recognizable style in jewelry and silverware. We welcome the commitment of Gangtai Group to invest significant resources to further develop the Buccellati brand and platform.”
Andrea Buccellati will remain creative director and honorary chairman of the company, with the rest of the Buccellati family, including Lucrezia, also retaining their roles. CEO Gianluca Brozzetti will also maintain his position.
The deal is subject to Chinese government approval and is expected to go through in the second quarter of 2017.
Gangtai Group is a private conglomerate listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with a hand in consumer, culture, finance and health industries. Its subsidiary, Gangsu Gangtai Holding Group Co. Ltd., deals mainly in gold and gold jewelry.
EFinancialNews.com reported a source as saying that the deal “valued the company (Buccellati) at 230 million euros,” or roughly $239 million.