LONDON — Richemont, parent of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, has acquired 100 percent of Buccellati Holding Italia SpA, the owner of Italian jeweler Buccellati, in a private transaction with Gangtai Group Corporation Limited.
Chairman of Richemont Johann Rupert called Buccellati “one of the few maisons in the dynamic branded jewelry market which is complementary to our existing jewelry maisons, in terms of style, origins and craftsmanship. Buccellati meets the needs of today’s customers who are looking for creative jewelry, with a highly distinctive style.”
He said it was “distinguished by strong heritage, craftsmanship and family spirit,” and that Richemont welcomed Andrea Buccellati, his family and his team. “We look forward to ensuring the long-term development of this unique jewelry maison.”
The terms of the deal were not disclosed and Richemont said Friday the transaction closed on Sept. 26. It will have no material financial impact on Richemont’s consolidated net assets or operating result for the year ending March 31, 2020. The results of Buccellati will be reported under the Jewelry Maisons business area on Richemont’s balance sheet.
Buccellati was founded in Milan in 1919 by Mario Buccellati, and is known for its delicate, lacy and lattice-like designs in gold and diamonds. The pieces are made with techniques dating back to the Renaissance, in Buccellati’s four in-house workshops, all located in Italy. Buccellati is also active in the fields of watchmaking and silverware.
Andrea Buccellati, honorary chairman and creative director of Buccellati, said: “We are proud to join Richemont, a family-spirited group and nurturer of prestigious luxury maisons, with an undisputed expertise in jewelry. We value their long-term strategic thinking and look forward to seeing the potential of Buccellati realized as part of Richemont.”
Xu Jiangang, founder and chairman of Gangtai Group, a privately held conglomerate, said the group was “extremely glad to have successfully contributed to the introduction of the prestigious Buccellati brand in the Greater China market, strengthening Buccellati’s identity and enhancing all of the elements which make it one of the best-known brands worldwide in the fine jewelry sector.”
While Gangtai Group had high hopes for Buccellati when it purchased the company a few years ago, it failed to roll out the brand at the rate and in the way that both parties had originally planned. Investment was slow in coming and it was clear from the start that Gangtai Group was not the right partner to push the artisanal, high-end Italian house forward.
Rumors were rife that it was looking for a partner to invest in the jeweler.
The Italian brand will slot easily into the portfolio of Richemont. Jewelry is the luxury giant’s largest and most lucrative division, and Richemont has artisanal, retail and operational expertise to help brands like Buccellati grow in a sustainable way.
Last year, Buccellati chief executive Gianluca Brozzetti said the company was growing at a double-digit rate in 2018, boosted by expansion in Asia with the opening of five stores that year.
Brozzetti also pointed to a strong communication campaign in the region, fronted by actress Zhang Ziyi, who is also a Buccellati brand ambassador. Brozzetti underscored the prominence and influence of the actress, who gained international recognition for her role in Ang Lee’s 2000 film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards.