Интернет-магазин DONTA

La Perla’s Luxury Lingerie May Not Be Over Yet as Judicial Administration Procedure Begins in Italy

The luxury innerwear brand avoided liquidation and is expected to present a new industrial plan in two months.

La Perla’s Luxury Lingerie May Not Be Over Yet as Judicial Administration Procedure Begins in Italy

La Perla’s swimwear line campaign.

MILAN — Not all hope is lost for La Perla, the troubled luxury innerwear brand, which has been in a state of chaos over the past 10 months.

A Bologna, Italy, court ruled last Friday in favor of putting the brand’s Italy-based manufacturing arm and subsidiary, La Perla Manufacturing Srl, into judicial administration, which should allow business continuity and the preservation of jobs.

In February the same court declared La Perla Manufacturing Srl insolvent and appointed a trifecta of commissioners to lead the Italian subsidiary out of the quagmire.

As per Italian law and procedures, this week the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy is expected to name extraordinary commissioners to lead the judicial administration and, within the next two months, present an industrial plan to restart the company’s activities.

They will be also tasked with finding potential investors, following the exit in February of the brand’s owner Tennor, the private equity firm, previously known as Sapinda, helmed by German businessman Lars Windhorst.

Meanwhile, La Perla Global Management U.K., the British company that owns the La Perla brand and its global assets, in addition to owning exclusive rights to sell La Perla-branded products, has been put into judicial liquidation in the U.K. A similar procedure has separately begun in Italy, given the U.K.-based enterprise’s control over its Italian subsidiaries.

Through the Italian La Perla Manufacturing Srl subsidiary, the brand employs around 330 workers in Italy, 230 of whom are based at the Bologna manufacturing site. In March the company and trade unions reached an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy to be put in “cassa integrazione,” a government-funded redundancy pay.

La Perla operates two additional subsidiaries in Italy — La Perla Italia, in charge of retail and commercial operations, and La Perla Management for administration and accounting. Trade unions and employees are hoping that the Bologna court will also put those two companies into judicial administration.

“The opening of judicial administration is an important step forward in ensuring stability and continuity for the company,” said Adolfo Urso, Italy’s ministry of enterprises and Made in Italy. “All involved parties are now required to move in tandem to ensure continuity, acknowledging the complexity of this procedure and the need to find an industrial solution in the short-term to safeguard manufacturing and ensure [the entity] can leverage on brand rights,” he said, stressing his commitment to protecting the company’s workforce.

The developments — albeit still uncertain — create some relief for employees and trade unions after concerns about the fate of the luxury innerwear label intensified over the past several months.

“With the judicial administration being recognized [the parties] need to move swiftly toward the restart of manufacturing activities,” said Ugo Cherubini, national secretary of the Filctem Cgil trade union. “The procedures need to find a common solution to provide the company with an industrial prospect. Enough with financial speculations such as those [undertaken] by the Tennor fund.”

As reported, last summer trade unions said workers had not been paid on a regular basis and they stood by the seamstresses’ side as the latter held a demonstration at the European Parliament in Brussels in January asking an Italian delegation of members of the Parliament to intervene to safeguard their jobs.

These were just a few of the steps taken over the past few years as La Perla faced its financial problems. Unions Cgil, Filctem Cgil, Uil and Uiltec have been vocal about the company’s issues via several avenues, including in the courthouse of Bologna, where it has been historically based, and urging the Ministry of the Enterprises and Made in Italy to take a stand to avoid the liquidation of the company, which “should be managed by entrepreneurs who care about the relaunch of this storied brand. […]We refute the idea that the only priorities of English liquidators are the London revenue authorities’ claimed credits.”

La Perla has failed to relaunch in recent years, including after Windhorst’s private equity firm Tennor took over the company in 2018. The 60 million euro to 70 million euro financing to relaunch the brand that the German businessman had pledged to put in place last year never materialized.

Over the past few years the lingerie label has been searching for new revenue streams and has expanded into beauty and swimwear. It became one of the first brands to join Amazon Luxury Stores. The company also invested $50 million in the now-shuttered British couture house Ralph & Russo.

La Perla was founded in 1956 by the corsetry maker Ada Masotti. Her son, Alberto Masotti, headed the business until it was sold to private equity player JH Partners in 2007. Ownership of La Perla later passed to Silvio Scaglia in 2013, who sold it to Sapinda in 2018.