Pierpaolo and Marco Palmieri

Italian accessories and luggage company Piquadro SpA has acquired a majority stake in Florence-based leather accessories brand The Bridge.

The agreement was signed on Friday between Piquadro, which is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, and Il Ponte Pelletteria SpA, which controlled The Bridge label.

Piquadro bought an 80 percent stake in the company for  3.17 million euros, or $3.46 million at current exchange rate. According to the contract signed by the two companies, both Piquadro and Il Ponte Pelletteria will have the option to acquire the remaining 20 percent in 2021 and then in 2023.

Il Ponte Pelletteria established The Bridge in 1969 and it currently counts about 85 employees, who Piquadro president and chief executive officer Marco Palmieri said are expected to be maintained. In the fiscal year that closed last December, Il Ponte Pelletteria posted revenues of 22.2 million euros, or $24.64 million at average exchange rate, with a net debt of 8.5 million euros, or $9.35 million. The Bridge, which manufactures its collections in Tuscany and is known for the use of a naturally treated leather with a cognac tone, is sold in 1,300 doors worldwide and counts three directly operated stores in Italy.

“Our goal is to give the right commercial dignity to the brand, which is entirely made in Italy and is deeply rooted in the area it operates,” said Palmieri, who revealed they forecast to double The Bridge’s revenues within five years. “With this acquisition, we start developing a group focused on accessories and positioned in the premium market.”

According to Palmieri, Piquadro is considering the acquisition of other accessories labels offering premium products and featuring a strong brand identity.

With the acquisition of The Bridget, Piquadro will also be able to boost its re-shoring initiatives by implementing its production in Italy. Currently, about 80 percent of Piquadro collections are crafted in China with the use of Italian materials.

In the fiscal year that closed in March, Piquadro generated revenues of 69.31 million euros, or $76.24 million, up 3.1 percent compared to the previous year. The company had net debt of 6.7 million euros, or $7.44 million.

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