October 1, 2018 / 7:57 AM / 17 days ago

Richemont looking to buy Italian jeweler Buccellati: paper

MILAN (Reuters) - Cartier-owner Richemont (CFR.S) is considering buying Italian jeweler Buccellati from the Chinese group that acquired it in 2017, an Italian newspaper reported on Monday.

Buccellati was recently taken over by China’s Gansu Gangtai (600687.SS), in a deal that sources said had valued the storied Milanese brand best known for its lace-like patterns at 270 million euros ($313 million), including debt.

Corriere della Sera’s Monday supplement L’Economia said the acquisition had run into difficulties due to restrictions to investments abroad introduced by the Chinese government.

Gansu Gangtai had planned to invest 200 million euros to develop Buccellati.

The paper said Bank of America Merrill Lynch was now at work on the sale of Buccellati, which had drawn Richemont’s interest but also that of Qatari investment vehicle Mayhoola.

Richemont declined to comment. Mayhoola had no immediate comment.

Sources had told Reuters back in 2016 that Richemont was in exclusive talks to buy a controlling stake in Buccellati from Italian private equity firm Clessidra.

Reporting by Valentina Za in Milan, additional reporting by Silke Koltrovitz in Zurich, editing by Louise Heavens

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