The Italian brand of sports eyewear, apparel and accessories has been taken over by B Holding, a diversified conglomerate owned by the family of Silvano Boroli, involved in wineries and publishing. The acquisition of other related assets is expected to follow soon. Briko had been the property for many years of Type 20, a company set up by Paola Del Vecchio, one of the numerous children of Leonardo Del Vecchio, founder and major shareholder of Luxottica.
Luxottica, which continues to own the Arnette brand and produces sports eyewear and sunglasses under this brand name, had previously licensed to Type 20 the manufacture and distribution of Arnette branded clothing and accessories. Luxottica took back these licenses last December, shortly after completing the takeover of Oakley. Type 20 is expected to cease operations in the next weeks.
Under its new ownership, Briko will be run by a newly appointed chief executive, Maurizio Besozzi, who has had plenty of experiences in the sporting goods sector. He was commercial director of Briko until shortly after its acquisition by Paola Del Vecchio in 1999 from Alberto Brignone, now involved in another eyewear project, ZeroRH. Besozzi then acted as sales manager for Eric Weitzmann, the large Italian sports distribution company, and subsequently occupied a similar function at Puma Italia.
Carlo Boroli, one of the four sons of Silvano Boroli, has become chairman and president of Briko. The family was one of the major shareholders in De Agostini, a large Italian publishing house with subsidiaries in France and other countries. It got out of it in 1997 to invest in other publishing companies and in one of the fastest-growing Barolo wineries in the Piedmont region. In the publishing sector it is involved in Collins dictionaries and wellness magazines. It's also a shareholder in Italy's second-largest financial daily, Finanza & Mercati, and it handles licensed Disney and Warner Brothers products. B Holding is potentially interested in other possible acquisitions in the sporting goods sector.