Safilo unions say eyewear plant in Italy up for sale
MILANO (Reuters) - Safilo, which makes eyewear for brands such as Hugo Boss and Jimmy Choo, told unions on Wednesday that its Longarone plant in north eastern Italy was no longer strategic and could be sold, workers' representatives said.
The Italian group declined to comment.
In a statement issued after a meeting in Venice with the company, unions said that Safilo "dramatically" had confirmed it no longer viewed the Longarone plant as necessary.
"The company's adviser has mentioned the concrete possibility of an acquisition on the part of major players in the eyewear sector," the unions said.
The Longarone plant employs 472 people.
Safilo has been hit hard by the pandemic crisis, while also suffering from the loss of its key Dior license in late 2020.
In its January sales statement, Safilo said the board had given the management "a mandate to explore alternative solutions for the Longarone plant" while reiterating the relevance of two other production plants and of the Padua logistic centre.
According to a source close to the matter, Safilo is facing an overcapacity issue.
Safilo's plant in Longarone is located close to that of Thelios, the spectacles business of LVMH, where the French luxury giant produces frames for some of its most prestigious brands such as Dior, Fendi, Celine and Givenchy.
French rival Kering has also recently reinforced its eyewear business.
Italy's north east is also home to the plants of French-Italian lens and frames giant Essilorluxottica.
Safilo beat its full-year revenue guidance in 2022.
(Reporting by Elisa Azolin, writing by Claudia Cristoferi, editing by Valentina Za and Sharon Singleton)