| PARIS, April 2
PARIS, April 2 Francesco Trapani, former senior
executive at LVMH and head of Italian jeweller
Bulgari, has been appointed executive vice-chairman of Clessidra
to strengthen the Italian private equity firm's pool of seasoned
Trapani, who joined LVMH when he sold his family business
Bulgari to the world's biggest luxury group in 2011, resigned as
group head of watches and jewellery on March 1.
No formal explanation was given for Trapani's departure.
Clessidra Chairman and Chief Executive Claudio Sposito has
known Trapani for many years as he helped him float Bulgari in
Milan in 1995 when he headed Morgan Stanley's investment banking
team in Italy.
Sposito said Clessidra had approached Trapani as the fund
was keen to have on board the luxury veteran who helped build
Bulgari, a 300 million euro company in 1995, into a 4.3 billion
business by the time it was sold to LVMH.
"I think private equity firms need to have more industrial
experience in-house as there has been too much focus on
financial skills in the past," said Sposito, who previously
worked Citi, Barclays and Fininvest, the family holding of
former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Clessidra, which is specialised in "Made in Italy"
businesses and has controlled high-end jeweller Buccellati since
last year, runs two closed funds of 820 million euros ($1.13
billion)and 1.1 billion euros each.
Sposito said hiring Trapani did not mean Clessidra, which
was in the final round of bidders for a stake in Versace earlier
this year, would be on the lookout for more jewellery assets.
"There are not many targets available in the jewellery
market," Sposito said.
He said Clessidra was more interested in high-end consumer
goods and other segments such as leather goods and apparel and
possibly their suppliers as well, which were very fragmented.
Last month, Clessidra said it would sell its stake in
Italian tyre maker Pirelli as part of a deal reached with
Russia's top oil producer Rosneft.
Trapani, who received an LVMH stake when his family sold
Bulgari to the group, still advises Chief Executive Bernard
Arnault on the group's jewellery activities and is still a small
shareholder and member of LVMH's board of directors.
($1 = 0.7263 Euros)
(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt, editing by David Evans)