Threat of major redundancy plan looms over La Perla
After a few years’ respite, the threat of a major redundancy plan is again looming over La Perla. The plan affects between 100 and 120 employees working at the Bologna headquarters and ateliers of the long-established Italian luxury lingerie label, about one quarter of La Perla’s 430 employees. The unions immediately called a 16-hour strike.
The unions underlined that La Perla’s announcement didn’t mention any recovery plan. The senior management, in a communique cited on Italian media, simply stated that the company “has undertaken a restructuring plan involving the rationalisation of those functions that aren't linked with direct production.” An operation that “has become necessary to enable [La Perla] to ensure the continuity of the manufacturing activities in Bologna.”
The company hammered the point home by explaining that “the restructuring plan is necessary and cannot be postponed, to steady the operational management of a company that has been in difficulties for 20 years.”
La Perla was founded by the Masotti family in 1954, and sold to US investment fund JH Partners in 2007. Since then, it has never managed to get back on the growth track despite extensive investment, hit by increasingly intense competition, and penalised by rising production costs in Italy and incompetent management.
La Perla was bought by Silvio Scaglia in 2013 via his Pacific Global Management holding company, after it filed for a preventive composition procedure with the Bologna court. In February 2018, La Perla was acquired by investment group Sapinda, owned by controversial German entrepreneur Lars Windhorst, a man with two bankruptcies under his belt, who recently found himself embroiled in the affair involving UK investment fund H2O, hit hard by liquidity problems.
According to the Financial Times and to Business Insider, the current woes of the lingerie label, whose finances were already in a critical state in 2017, are also partly due to the investments made by Sapinda.
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