Whitegoods empire on the brink of bankruptcy

By James Wells

FABRIANO, ITALY: Italian whitegoods manufacturer Antonio Merloni is on the brink of bankruptcy after applying for government protection by going into administration under a process know as the Marzano Law – an equivalent to the US Chapter 11.

Antonio Merloni manufactures products under the Ardo, HomePub and Technogas brands, and also owns Asko Sweden.

In an internal company memo obtained by Current.com.au, titled ‘Antonio Merloni group management’, the business admitted that it will be filing for the Italian version of Chapter 11 insolvency.

“We would like to inform you Antonio Merloni S.p.a. has filed for the admission to the benefits of the Extraordinary Administration Procedure (known as Marzano’s Law).

“In a few days, the application should be approved,” the letter said.

“The decision has been taken to allow the Group to perform its restructuring plan in a controlled environment, with maximum protection for all stakeholders.

“Concerning our relationship with your company, we can assure that the Group will run business as usual with on time deliveries, after sales service and full commercial support.”

On 1 September 2008 Antonio Merloni transferred capital stock to his daughter, Giovanna Merloni. Also announced on the same day was the appointment of newly appointed president, Giovanna Merloni who will serve with Flavio Pizzini and Luigi Viventi on an executive committee replacing the position of the CEO.

The Antonio Merloni business is not related to Merloni Elettrodomestici (now known as Indesit Company) owned by his brother Vittorio Merloni which has brands including Ariston, which is sold through Harvey Norman in Australia, as well as Hotpoint, Indesit and Scholtes.

Founded in 1975, Indesit Company is the second largest European white goods manufacturer in terms of market share and the fifth in the world, producing nearly 15 million appliances a year.

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