MILAN — A holiday gift came early for 250 La Perla employees because of a deal that will save their jobs during the restructuring of the innerwear company.
This story first appeared in the December 24, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Trade unions and management have reached an agreement under which government funds will pay about 70 percent of the workers’ salaries for a two-year period.
La Perla Group’s new owner, San Francisco-based private equity fund JH Partners LLC, is focused on a reorganization and relaunch of the $230 million La Perla label to boost its business globally.
To streamline operations, La Perla said in October it would shed 365 jobs at its headquarters in Bologna.
The innerwear brand plans to bring its production entirely in-house, which will help in the reallocation of employees. A fundamental element, the company said, is “the centrality of Italian-made quality as a strategic path of success.”
To ensure continuity and quality, La Perla plans to enhance style and product development in the “technical-design laboratories” in the Via Mattei headquarters. “New creative figures will be key to providing new stimuli and solutions,” the company said.
Jeff Hansen, managing director of La Perla, said the deal “thanks to the complete collaboration of the authorities and the mutual desire of all parties involved to do what is best for La Perla, represents a fundamental step towards resolving the problems of the past and assuring a positive stronghold in the future.”
In a major step to shape the future of the brand, La Perla on Monday signed a licensing agreement with Mariella Burani Fashion Group for production and distribution of its ready-to-wear line, which had been produced in-house for more than 10 years.
“We will work together to implement the business plan in a concrete manner, to redefine the creative management and lay the foundations for the growth and success of La Perla,” Hansen said.