PPR, Prada Said to Be Among Suitors of Jeweler Pomellato

Pomellato SpA, the closely held jeweler whose trinkets have been worn by actress Tilda Swinton, has received expressions of interest from at least four luxury-goods makers, according to a person familiar with the situation.

PPR SA, Prada SpA and Swarovski are among companies that have held talks with the Milan-based company, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the information is confidential. While no final decision has been made, a deal could be reached this month, the person said.

Pomellato, known for its M’ama non m’ama stacking rings, shelved a plan to sell shares in an initial public offering after Italy’s election this week produced a hung parliament. That “forces us to look into alternative courses of action, you have to look at other sources of capital,” Chief Executive Officer Andrea Morante said in a Feb. 26 Bloomberg TV interview.

Pomellato sales rose about 10 percent to almost 150 million euros in 2012, according to the person. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization reached about 23 million euros. The jeweler has an enterprise value of about 270 million euros ($351 million) to 300 million euros, Thomas Mesmin, an analyst at CA Cheuvreux in Paris, estimates.

Swatch Group AG’s $1 billion acquisition of Harry Winston Diamond Corp.’s watch and jewelry unit has spurred interest in Pomellato, said the person. Founder Pino Rabolini is weighing selling a stake to a strategic partner to help the maker of 700-euro Rouge Passion rings develop globally, the person said.

No Overlap

Officials at PPR and Prada declined to comment. A Swarovski official said she couldn’t immediately comment. Swatch may also be interested in the jeweler, Pambianco News reported last month. The biggest maker of Swiss timepieces doesn’t need anything else after buying Harry Winston, Beatrice Howald, a spokeswoman, said by e-mail.

PPR is looking to acquire brands that do not overlap with its existing portfolio, Alexis Babeau, managing director of the Paris-based company’s luxury division, said in January after it bought stakes in Chinese jeweler Qeelin and British fashion designer Christopher Kane. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, which in 2011 purchased Roman jeweler Bulgari, sees more consolidation in the so-called hard-luxury segment, the head of its watch and jewelry unit said in November.

Buying Pomellato would make more sense for PPR than Prada and could be interesting for Swarovski, CA Cheuvreux’s Mesmin said.

“I would think companies like PPR or LVMH could end up securing the deal,” said Luca Solca, an analyst who heads luxury-goods research at Exane BNP Paribas in London. “As jewelry brands are few and far apart, I would expect valuations to be skewed to the higher as the recent Harry Winston deal suggests.”