MILAN, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Italy's distressed porcelain maker
Richard Ginori 1735, which has made fine china
tableware for over 270 years, is going to be taken over by a
Richard Ginori, which has worked with designers such as Gio
Ponti and Missoni, is among several Italian brands to fall in
foreign hands after failing to stand on their own in an
increasingly competitive market.
Burdened by debts, Richard Ginori was first rescued in 2007
by Italian investor Roberto Villa, who restructured and brought
the group back on the stock market in 2009.
But fiscal problems and the impact of the credit squeeze
during the 2008 financial crisis weighed on the relaunch of one
of the symbols of Italian craftsmanship.
The group was put on sale by special administrators
appointed to avoid it going bankrupt.
In a statement on Wednesday, the company said an offer by a
consortium led by American tabletop maker Lenox Corp had been
accepted and talks to define the sale would follow.
Romania's largest porcelain manufacturer, Apulum, will also
take part in the rescue of the company.
Italy, which is battling against a year-long recession, is
losing control of some of its best-known manufacturers.
Dubai-based Paris Group bought nearly bankrupt fashion house
Gianfranco Ferre last year. Cash-rich investors have also
snapped up healthier Italian groups such as Valentino, Bulgari
The sale of Richard Ginori had raised concerns among its
over 300 employees, mostly based at the group's historic plant
The Lenox-Apulum offer would preserve production of the
Richard Ginori brand in Italy, according to Italy's newswire
Lennox has also made china for the White House.
(Reporting by Antonella Ciancio; Editing by Leslie Adler)