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Friday, July 5, 2013

A French Company Acquires Another Prestigious Italian Jewelry Brand

Tilda Swinton, a spokesperson for Pomellato.

Less than two years after French conglomerate LVMH acquired luxury Italian jewelry brand Bulgari; its French competitor, holding company Kering, finalized its acquisition of Italian jewelry brand Pomellato.

The agreement for Kering to purchase a majority stake in Pomellato was announced in April. On Thursday, Kering, formerly known as PPR, announced in a brief statement that the agreement received clearance from the antitrust authorities and has been finalized.

Pomellato was one of the few truly prestigious independent Italian jewelry brands left to acquire. The brand was founded by Pino Rabolini in Milan in 1967, pioneering the concept of ready-to-wear jewelry. The idea was that jewelry is not just a status symbol but an accessory to be worn and replaced at any time of the day. The current CEO, Andrea Morante, will remain in this position with the company.

Pomellato ranks among the top five European jewelers by sales, with 2012 revenues of €146 million ($190 million). It has a distinct style, an international following and an aura of exclusivity. The brand is known for its colorful rounded cabochon gems and its tactile forms. For example, pavé patterns are created with gemstones of various sizes and irregular forms. In recent years, the company was also known for its advertising partnership with actress Tilda Swinton, who appeared in company photographs and videos.

In 1995, Pomellato launched a second brand, Dodo, an accessible line of 18k gold charms in the shapes of animals. The name, after an extinct bird, was chosen as a way to exemplify the need to protect nature. The brand supports the Italian World Wildlife Fund, working to prevent the extinction of other animal species.

Pomellato’s distribution network includes 86 mono-brand stores (45 Pomellato, 41 Dodo) as well as approximately 600 independent points of sale around the world. More importantly for Pomellato and Kering is that there is plenty of room for growth. Pomellato has expressed an interest to extend its international distribution. Kering, with its immense size as an international player in the apparel and accessories markets, can fuel that growth.

Kering is present in more than 120 countries and generated revenues of €9.7 billion ($12.4 billion) in 2012. With the acquisition Pomellato finalized, the company now has a majority stake in 19 brands that include international luxury fashion brands Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent; French luxury jewelry brand, Boucheron; Chinese luxury jewelry brand, Qeelin; luxury Swiss watch brands, Girard-Perregaux and Jewn-Richard; and sports brand, Puma.

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