Spanish Luxury Porcelain Designer Lladro Said to Eye Stake Sale

  • Family-owned business mulls stake sale, may retain control
  • Lladro may draw interest from private equity firms, companies

Lladro SA, the Spanish porcelain maker whose handmade figurines can cost thousands of dollars, is exploring strategic options including a sale of a stake in the business to boost growth amid increasing competition, according to people familiar with the matter.

The family-owned company is working with advisers at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP on the review, which could attract private equity firms and other companies in the industry, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The company may be valued at a few hundred million euros due to its well-known brand and global presence, the people said.

Considerations are at an early stage, and the family, which is likely to retain control of the business, may decide against a transaction, the people said. A representative for Lladro, based in Valencia, declined to comment. A representative for PwC declined to comment.

Lladro is following other family-owned brands in Spain which have recently sold minority stakes to raise funds and boost growth. Those include fashion retail brand Desigual, which sold a minority stake to French private equity firm Eurazeo SA in 2014, and jewelry designer Joyeria Tous SA, which sold about 25 percent of the business to Partners Group last year.

Founded in 1953 by the Lladro brothers, the company has expanded internationally, adding boutique shops in cities including New York, San Francisco, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong, according to its website. Among its most recent porcelain figures, consumers can find a couple riding a motorcycle for 780 pounds ($994), a Samurai warrior for 1,730 pounds or two mandarin ducks for 2,900 pounds.

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