Ittierre in the midst of a restructuring
“There is absolutely no question of firing anyone! We are working on a restructuring plan to make the company more competitive. So far, we have only discussed with the unions for implementing technical unemployment involving some 300 employees but as a temporary measure. This technical unemployment will only be applied for three months on a rotational basis starting May-June during a period of reduced activity for the company,” said Antonio Bianchi, who bought out the Molise group (Southern Italy) at the beginning of 2011, which specializes in licenses for luxury brands.
This Italian manufacturer and distributor was placed under financial supervision by the government after having narrowly escaped bankruptcy in 2009. At the time of the sale, Antonio Bianchi, also owner of the Albisetti lingerie group, pledged to maintain all jobs for two years and to buy back the Ittierre’s Pettoranello production site, located in the Molise region in Southern Italy.
Last December, the company presented a business plan as part of a “Development Agreement,” a tool developed by the Ministry of the Transalpine Economy that provides financial facilities for companies wishing to substantially invest in the development of their businesses, especially in Southern Italy. But for Ittierre to launch its plan, it needs approval from the government and the Region of Molise. “Unfortunately, our country still has no new government, and the Molise region has just elected a new administration. Everything is blocked. While we wait for an answer, we have no choice but to resort to layoffs,” said the group’s boss.
Antonio Bianchi also denied leaks published in the press about a disagreement between Ittierre and the Costume National label. “A joint venture between Ittierre and Costume National was formed in 2011 for production and distribution of its main line. We are currently in discussions about how to improve this collaboration, as we are with other brands. Regarding the young fashion line C'N'C for which we are manufacturing under license, the contract expires in 2014 and is renewable for five years. It is therefore premature to talk about it,” said the group’s CEO. Costume National declined to comment on the issue.
The group is finally ready to announce a new licensing agreement with a French brand, as Bianchi Antonio indicated in February. “It is a matter of days,” he said.
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