MILAN — Chinese Gansu Gangtai Group, which is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, celebrated on Tuesday the successful closing of the acquisition of 85 percent of Milan-based jewelry firm Buccellati.
Following the acquisition, the Buccellati family and private equity Clessidra SGR retain a 15 percent stake in the company. Clessidra acquired a majority stake in Buccellati in an operation valued at 80 million euros in 2013.
Gangtai Group, which has investments in a range of businesses, paid a sum of 195 million euros in Buccellati, giving it an equity value of 230 million euros. Buccellati closed 2016 with revenues of 44 million euros.
According to Buccellati’s chief executive officer Gianluca Brozzetti, Gangtai Group will invest a sum of 200 million euros to boost the international expansion of the label in the next five years.
“Among the areas which will be instrumental to grow the brand’s business, there is definitely retail and we plan to open 88 directly controlled stores within five years,” said Brozzetti, saying 44 additional doors will be inaugurated in collaboration with local partners across the Middle East and Eastern Europe. “Our retail network will grow from the current 40 stores to 150 doors in five years.”
Brozzetti also said that 27 of the 88 planned stores will be opened in Greater China, not only in famous cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Macau, Taipei and Hong Kong, but also in less-known, yet densely populated towns.
Buccellati will also inaugurate 21 boutiques in the South Pacific area.
“The expansion of the retail network will be supported by advertising, communication and digital activities,” said Brozzetti, who revealed the company will host a major event in 2019 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the brand.
At the same time, Buccellati will continue investing in the design and manufacturing of its Icon collections, which represent 50 percent of its sales, and of the one-of-a-kind creations.
Buccellati honorary president Andrea Buccellati, along with daughter Lucrezia, will remain at the head of the creative division, which also develops the watch and silverware collections, accounting for 5 and 15 percent of Buccellati’s sales, respectively.
“The sales of our women’s jewelry-like watches are very satisfying, but we also plan to expand our men’s timepiece business,” Brozzetti said.
“I think that this agreement will have a positive impact on both Buccellati, which will get the investments to accelerate its global expansion, and Gangtai, as it will have the chance to get through a process of internationalization,” said Gangtai Group founder and president Xu Jiangang. “About 1.3 billion people live in China and in the last few years, we saw huge opportunities growing in our country, especially in terms of domestic consumptions of luxury goods. This is the main reason why this is an incredible opportunity for both our companies.”
Asked about a possible IPO for Buccellati, Jiangang didn’t exclude the possibility to list the jewelry firm in the future.