Richemont buys Buccellati for undisclosed sum to strengthen jewellery offering

By Corinne Gretler

(Bloomberg) – Richemont is acquiring Italian jewellery brand Buccellati to bolster its existing portfolio of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. The Swiss luxury-goods maker bought the Milan-based brand from Gangtai Group Corp., a Chinese investment company, for an undisclosed price.

Luca Solca, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said it probably paid less than the €230m ($250m) the Shanghai-based investment company paid for Buccellati several years ago.

The new addition strengthens Richemont’s position in the branded-jewellery market. Jewellery has become more important for the company as it’s proven to be more resilient during economic downturns than watches. Richemont has been bolstering the unit, after Cartier introduced new lines such as Clash to attract more millennials to the brand.

“Buccellati is a brand with strong heritage and character, which can benefit from the expertise and scale of Richemont in jewellery,” Bernstein’s Solca said.

Buccellati, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, also makes watches and silverware, using techniques dating back to the Renaissance. Various bracelets in its collection are inspired by nobles in European history, such as the Caterina Bracelet, which features a honeycomb surface in gold and diamonds to replicate the yellow-white 16th-century silk gown in a portrait of Catherine de Medici’s wedding to King Henry II of France.

Corriere della Sera reported last year that the brand had sales of €50m in 2017.

The acquisition will have no material impact on Richemont’s operating results in the current fiscal year, the Geneva-based company said in a statement Friday.