Berkshire Hathaway unit buys 3 Italian jewellers

01-Jun-2011

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Berkshire Hathaway jewellery unit to add new brands in Italy * Richline buys just one brand of earlier target Rosato

By Svetlana Kovalyova

MILAN, May 30 (Reuters) – U.S. jewellery manufacturer and distributor Richline Group, a unit of U.S. billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N: Quote), has bought three Italian jewellery brands.

The deal comes amid expectations that French luxury group LVMH’s (LVMH.PA: Quote) 3.7 billion euro ($5.3 billion) bid in March for Italian peer Bulgari (BULG.MI: Quote) could trigger a wave of smaller bids in the Italian jewellery industry and worldwide luxury sector. [ID:nLDE7281ZB] [ID:nLDE70K0Q0] [ID:nN23183884]

Richline Group said it had acquired the rights to privately held Italian brands: children’s jewellery maker Erz, earrings and bracelets maker Farinex, and 7AR, which is part of the Rosato jewellery group.

Richline Group said in January it would buy privately owned Italian jeweller Rosato, known for its playful gold and enamel charms. It was hit hard by the global economic crisis. [ID:nLDE70D1PG] But instead, Richline has opted to buy just one branch of Rosato, the 7AR brand, “after a long, complicated, and sometimes frustrating process”, Ulrich said in another statement.

Richline was interested in acquiring Italian jewellery manufacturers whose output would be sold to department stores or to wholesale buyers, whereas Rosato was closely linked to its own shops and retail distribution, Fedora Artuso, Richline International’s administrator, told Reuters.

No one at Rosato was immediately available for a comment. ($1=.7000 Euro) (Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova; Editing by Will Waterman)

 

 

 

“This is another important and strategic addition to our expansion into the international arena,” Dennis Ulrich, chief executive officer of Richline Group, said in a statement.

Richline Group declined to disclose financial details of the deal. It said it expected to add other brands to its new Italian unit, Richline International Srl, which starts up on June 1.

Richline Group was formed in 2007 and includes such brands as Andin, Alarama, Aurafin, Auragem and Bel-Oro. (www.richlinegroup.com)

 

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