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Chanel invests in Italian tannery Samanta

Translated by
Robin Driver
Published
today Jul 10, 2019
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Chanel continues to reinforce its supply chain. The French luxury house has acquired a stake in Tuscan tannery Conceria Samanta, which has served as its supplier for printed and embossed leathers for some years now. The company has confirmed the operation but has given no further details about the sums involved, nor the size of the stake acquired. 


Patterned leathers produced by Conceria Samanta - samanta.com

 
According to daily newspaper Milano Finanza, which first reported the news, Chanel has acquired a majority stake after a long negotiation process lasting a full year. The brand itself, however, preferred to highlight the possibilities presented by the partnership between the two parties involved in the deal.

"In a fast growing luxury market and leather sector, the two companies have decided to collaborate closely so that Samanta can continue to develop its unique offering, which is renowned among the big names of the luxury industry. For Chanel, Samanta's expertise and technicality brings a real added value to its business. Their unique savoir-faire in printing patterns on leather complements the expertise of our other partners. This is why the group wanted to support the tannery's development," said the company in a release.

"Chanel and Conceria Samanta share the same vision of the métier: their coming together will allow for the development of synergies between leather industry stakeholders. In accordance with Chanel's strategy for this type of operation, Conceria Samanta will continue to collaborate with all of its customers. This multi-client approach permits the continued development of the company's savoir-faire and innovation capabilities," continued the brand. 
 
Founded in the 1970s by Attilio Gronchi, who passed away in 2013, the tannery is currently run by his children, Iacopo and Azzurra Gronchi. Situated in Ponte a Egola, near San Miniato in the region of Santa Croce, a global leader in tanning close to Pisa, the company employs around 40 people and is world-renowned for its expertise in printing and embossing leather, and in particular in reproducing exotic skins. 

At the end of 2018, Chanel announced that it would no longer use exotic skins in its collections, as ensuring an ethical supply chain had become too complicated. This move goes some way to explain the company's decision to invest in Samanta, which comes hot on the heels of a number of acquisitions of and investments in other companies in the group's supply network over the last year. These include investments in Swiss watch manufacturer Kenissi and Finnish producer of biodegradable materials Sulapac, as well as the acquisition of Spanish tannery Colomer. 
 
Owned by the Wertheimer brothers, the luxury giant reported $11.12 billion (9.91 billion euros) in revenues in 2018, reflecting a 10.5% increase in constant currencies, and also doubled its investments to $1 billion. When the company announced its annual results in June, CFO Philoppe Blondiaux stated that Chanel should be continuing with its investments this year "at a rhythm similar to that of 2018"

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