Italy’s Piquadro bags French label Lancel
Italy’s Piquadro has acquired French luxury label Lancel, vowing in a deal announced Monday to preserve the handbag maker’s identity while modernising its products.
Piquadro acquired the label from Swiss luxury giant Richemont, its owner since 1997.
“We are very proud” of the takeover of Lancel, Piquadro’s chief executive Marco Palmieri said in a statement, adding that he saw in the French brand “a strong potential for growth”.
Under the deal, Richemont is to receive a percentage of Lancel’s profits over the next 10 years limited to 35 million euros ($41 million).
The agreement comes after Richemont on Friday announced its takeover of UK-based second-hand luxury watch trader Watchfinder.
Lancel is prized around the world, notably in Russia, China and the Middle East, but its profitability has eroded in recent years, with stores decreasing to 71 currently from 220 in 2008.
Lancel, which employs 350 people, had a turnover of 53 million euros in the year ending in March and a pre-tax operating loss of 23 million euros.
Piquadro was looking for a “brand with a history and a strong identity,” Palmieri told AFP, calling Lancel a “style icon since 1876”.
He also said Lancel’s French identity would be respected.
“Everything will remain in France: the headquarters, design, logistics,” he said.
Based near Bologna, the company Palmieri created in 1987 when he was just 22 years old has seen strong growth in recent years, with turnover jumping over 28 percent to nearly 100 million euros in the year ending in March.
Piquadro, which employs 850 people, specialises in business and travel bags and accessories.
It has recently grabbed headlines with its ultra-modern computer backpacks and suitcases, which are fitted with anti-theft and smartphone charger devices.
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