FLORENCE, Italy-Gucci has agreed to purchase Italian tabletop company Richard Ginori for 13 million euros, or $17 million, according to published reports. Additional reports earlier this month said Gucci is interested in developing a home collection, and that Richard Ginori would be the centerpiece of the tabletop portion.
The nearly 300-year-old company, based in Florence, Italy, has been in liquidation, an Italian business practice that is akin to an American Chapter 11 filing, since May of last year.
The fate of the storied tabletop brand had been unclear prior to auction, as tabletop industry players had expressed interest in the brand. Several months ago Lenox bid on the company and was awarded it by the Italian judge overseeing the auction process, Peter Cameron, CEO of Lenox, told HFN. However, a tribunal of judges reviewed the decision and overturned it, for a number of technical reasons related to the liquidation process. Cameron said he declined to place a counter bid for the company this month because the structure for the bid had been changed to include Ginori's real estate holdings in Florence and its museum, neither of which fell under Lenox's purview. "We were desperately interested in it," Cameron said, but "the structure [was] broader than what we have capability for or interest in."
Cameron called Richard Ginori a "terrific" brand that has strength in markets Lenox is interested in developing, particularly in Japan and Italy.