FLORENCE, Italy Jan 7 An Italian court has
declared porcelain maker Richard Ginori 1735 bankrupt,
union and company sources said on Monday, potentially thwarting
a takeover by a U.S.-led consortium.
The sources told Reuters that a Florence court had submitted
its decision on Monday, effectively blocking a sale procedure
by special administrators appointed to prevent the company going
Richard Ginori, which has made fine china tableware for over
270 years, was not available for comment.
"We cannot understand why the court took this decision,"
said one of the sources.
Burdened by debts, Richard Ginori was first rescued in 2007
by Italian investor Roberto Villa, who restructured and brought
the group back to the stock market in 2009.
But fiscal problems and the impact of the credit squeeze
during the 2008 financial crisis weighed on the relaunch of one
of the symbols of Italian craftsmanship, which has worked with
designers such as Gio Ponti and Missoni.
In November, the company had said an offer by a consortium
led by American tabletop maker Lenox Corp had been accepted and
talks to define the sale would follow.
Romania's largest porcelain manufacturer, Apulum, was also
due to take part in the rescue of the company.
Richard Ginori has 325 employees.
(Reporting By Silvia Ognibene; Writing by Silvia Aloisi;
editing by Louise Heavens)