Morellato & Sector Buys D.I.P.

Morellato & Sector, the Italian watch and jewelry conglomerate whose brands include Sector, Philip Watch, and Roberto Cavalli, has purchased D.I.P. (Diffusione Italiana Preziosi Spa), operator of Bluespirit, the largest European store chain in the jewelry and watch sector, and also a brand of watches and jewlery.

The overall value of the acquisition from Arca Impresa Gestioni SGR is about 60 million euros (about $83.4 million). The deal closes this month.

D.I.P. did about 43 million euros in business (about $59.7 million) in 2006.

There are 287 Bluespirit stores in 11 countries, including Italy (over 200), Spain, Germany and Australia. Acquisition of Bluespirit is part of Morellato & Sector’s strategy, said a Group  statement, to expand the Group internationally and  promote its many watch and jewelry brands. Bluespirit’s retail business approach has “a new attitude” about jewelry and watches, said the statesment, “one less elitist and more accessible.” There are no plans currently to open Bluespirit stores in the United States.

With the acquisition, Morellato & Sector estimates it will have a consolidated turnover for 2007 of around 270 million euros (about $375 million, with $69.5 million coming from Bluespirit).

The Morellato & Sector Group, based in Colle, outside Padua, Italy, has a large  portfolio of self-owned and licensed, upscale and fashion watch and jewelry brands. They include Morellato, Molecole, Sector, Philip Watch, Just Cavalli Jewels, Just Cavalli Time, Miss Sixty Jewels, Miss Sixty Time, Roberto Cavalli Timewear, Moschino Hours&Minutes, and Pirelli PZero Tempo.

The Group employs 800 people and operates 15 companies (six in Italy and nine abroad, including Sector Group USA, based in New York City.) In  2006, it did 195 million euros (almost $271 million).